Government plan on mortgage arrears only producing greater distress – Ó Snodaigh
Responding to the increase in the number of householders in mortgage arrears announced today Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said:
“These figures are extremely disappointing and show that the government’s policy is failing.
“What is particularly worrying this time is that the government is attempting to remove what protections householders have. Their plan is only producing greater distress.
“They are bringing through the Oireachtas the Land and Conveyancing Bill which will allow banks to repossess homes and the Central Bank will next week introduce changes to the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears which will weaken the hands of struggling homeowners in dealing with the banks.
“Taken together it is clear there is a coordinated plan by the government and the banks to ramp up repossessions and to further pressurise those in arrears.
“From next quarter the banks will have to show that they are meeting targets in dealing with arrears but the government’s actions mean they have a free hand in how to bring about these reductions regardless of the social cost.
“There are indications too that the Troika is putting pressure on the government to penalise those on tracker mortgages. That is a move which can only lead to a further jump in arrears.
“Sinn Féin has shown, in our submission to the Central Bank’s review on the Code of Conduct, how a society-wide approach is needed which deals with the mortgage crisis as a social and economic issue and not just a banking one.
“What is needed is an approach that seeks sustainable solutions which should include, where necessary, on a case-by-case basis, write-downs. These arrangements need to be imposed on the banks by an independent body where necessary.”