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Doherty launches Bill to protect the family home from repossession

10 October, 2013 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has moved a Bill which would protect the family home from repossession.

The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform (Amendment) Bill 2013 would reverse the worst aspects of the government’s removal of the Dunne judgment which prevented repossession of family homes in most cases.

Moving the Bill Deputy Doherty said:

“This Sinn Féin Bill would give greater protection to families from the banks. It would reinstate much of the protection the government removed earlier this year.

“In the context of a looming repossession a judge would be given the power to decide if the bank has acted reasonably and exhausted all other options. In other words it shifts the burden of proof onto the bank and off the homeowner. It would make a Personal Insolvency Practitioner available to anybody whose home was threatened with the bank footing the bill and other costs such as the residual debts.

“As a result of this banks would be forced into making reasonable and realistic arrangements with struggling homeowners. They will no longer be able to proceed straight to repossession or threat of repossession without first making a very real effort to meet the homeowner halfway.

“We have seen this government act time and time again in the interest of the banks. They revised the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears in favour of the banks. The Personal Insolvency Act is inadequate to many people and it gives the banks a veto.

“The biggest error the government has made is its reversal of the Dunne Judgment without putting any safeguard in its place. This has left family homes open to the threat of repossession. The result, as we have seen, is that almost 15,000 letters threatening repossession have been sent out in the past few months.

“This Bill is a reasonable solution which gives added protection against uncompromising banks to families whose home is in danger.”


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