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Need for legal protections for families from repossessions – Ó Clochartaigh

14 March, 2013


Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has criticised the government for its approach to the Banks and for the failure to deal with the mortgage crisis.

Speaking during the Order of Business in the Seanad today, the Sinn Féin Galway West Senator stated that there was a need for the government to take a more ‘hands on’ approach to ensure there are legal protections for families from repossessions.

“The Government is now two years in office but we have seen little to no action to assist those in mortgage arrears. In fact to a large extent, it is my view that they have effectively been thrown to the banking lions. Fianna Fáil when in government before them sat on two expert reports without implementing the recommendations either.

“The government’s approach to the banks, in giving them considerable leeway, has clearly failed. Since the 2011 general election the number of families in mortgage arrears has nearly doubled. At the end of December 2012, 94,488 or 11.9 per cent of private residential mortgage accounts were in arrears of more than 90 days, and a quarter of those, or 23,500, are in arrears of two years or more, which is a shocking statistic.

“The majority of these are honest ordinary people, doing their best to get by in the most difficult of circumstances, many grappling with negative equity and with unemployment, as they struggle to pay their most basic bills, much less their mortgage.

“They should not be the ones who should have to pay for the sins of the bankers and the speculators. They need assistance, not further pressure, and certainly not more threats of repossessions, such as we saw from the Secretary General of the Department of Finance last week.

“Clearly banks left to their own devices will not give those in arrears a just and fair resolution, and particularly so when the Personal Insolvency Mechanisms give the Banks a veto on any deal.

“There is a need now for the government to adopt a ‘hands on’ approach and to intervene to assist these families and homeowners. For one thing, the banks’ veto needs to be removed. There is clearly a need for a statutory independent body to impose settlements that are legally binding agreements between mortgage holders and banks, and where appropriate write-downs.

“Sinn Féin also believes that there is a need to reverse the Dunne Judgment by putting the protection of the family home put on a legislative footing.

“These are basic steps that the government could take that can alleviate the burden on these ordinary families, and I call on the Government to take action now, before we see Families losing their homes through repossessions.

ENDS

Caithfear cosaint dlíthiúil a thabhairt do theaghlaigh ó athghabháil tithe cónaithe – Ó Clochartaigh

Tá an Rialtas cáinte go géar mar gheall ar an gcur chuige atá acu leis na bainc agus an belach ata siad ag déileáil le géarchéim na morgáistí.

Ag labhairt do ar an Riar Gnó sa Seanad inniu, duirt Seanadóir Shinn Fein as Gaillimh Thiar go gcaithfidh an Rialtas a bheith níos gníomhaí le déanamh cinnte go dtugtar cosaint dlíthiúil do theaghlaigh ó athghabháil a dtithe cónaithe.

“Ta an Rialtas seo in oifig le dhá bhliain, ach is beag gníomh atá feicthe againn uathu chun cuidiú le daoine a bhfuil riaráistí morgáiste acu. Roimhe sin, shuigh Fianna Fáil ar dhá thuairisc ó ghrúpaí saineolacha, gan a gcuid moltaí siúd chun tacú le lucht riaráistí morgáiste a chuir i bhfeidhm ach an oiread.

“Tá teipthe ar fad ar cur chuige an Rialtais i leith na bainc, sin ag tabhairt cead a chinn dóibh rudaí a réiteach ar an slí is mian leo féin. Ó olltoghchán 2011 tá lion na dteaghlaigh le riaráistí morgáiste beagnach dúblaithe. Ag deireadh mí na Nollaig 2012 bhí 94,488, nó 11.9% de chuntais phríobháideacha morgáistí tí i riaraisti le naocha lá nó níos mó, agus an ceathrú cuid díobh, suas le 23,500, i riaráistí le breis is dhá bhliain. Is fíric dochreidte é sin.

“Is gnáthdhaoine ionraice den chuid is mó atá i gceist anseo, atá ag iarraidh maireachtáil ar éigean, in aimsir géarchéime. Iad ag fulaingt de bharr cothromas diúltach agus an difhostaíocht, fad is atá siad ag iarraidh billí bunúsacha maireachtála a íoc, gan tracht ar choinneáil suas lena gcuid morgáistí.

“Ní cóir gurb iad seo a bheadh ag ioc as peacaí na mbaincéirí agus na hamhantraíthe. Teastaíonn cúnamh uathu, seachas brú breise ná bagairtí athghábhála, mar a tháinig ó Ard Rúnaí na Roinne Airgeadais an tseachtain seo caite.

“Tá sé soiléir, má fhágtar seo faoi chúram na bainc le socrú, nach dtiocfar ar réiteach cothrom agus cóir leo siúd a bhfuil riaráistí le n-íoc acu, go háirithe nuair a thugann na Meicníochtaí Dócmhainneachta Pearsanta cumhacht iomlán diúltaithe do na bainc faoi aon socrú a dhéantar.

“Ta gá anois don Rialtas ról níos gníomhaí a ghlacadh agus chun feidhmiú ar mhaithe leis na teaghlaigh agus úinéirí tí seo. Caithfear deireadh a chuir le cumhacht na mbainc le socraithe a dhiúltú scun scan. Tá ga le háisíneacht neamhspleách reachtúil a bhfuil sé de chumhacht acu socraithe a chuir i bhfeidhm idir lucht morgáistí agus na bainc agus díscríbh fiacha a mholadh má fheileann sin.

“Síleann Sinn Féin chomh maith gur chóir an rialú i gcas Dunne a chuir i leataobh tré reachtaíocht a thabhairt isteach a thabharfadh cosaint do thithe teaghlaigh.

“Seo iad na céimeanna bunúsacha gur cheart don Rialtas a ghlacadh chun an ualach a bhaint de ghuaillí na gnáth teaghlaigh seo agus impím ar an Rialtas gníomhú láithreach air seo sula bhfeicfidh muid teaghlaigh breise ag cailleadh a gcuid tithe tríd an phroiséas athghábhála.”

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