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Any TD in Louth/East Meath with a modicum of a conscience "should support the No Consent No Sale bill" - Imelda Munster TD

31 January, 2019 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath has called on the government to support a Sinn Féin bill which aims to stop banks from selling mortgage loans to vulture funds and other third parties without the consent of the mortgage holder.

Speaking in the Dáil on the ‘No Consent, No Sale bill’ sponsored by Pearse Doherty TD, Deputy Munster called on the government to support the bill, which puts existing Central Bank regulations under their Code of Practice on a legislative footing.

Deputy Munster said:

“Just three months ago, a state bank that had been bailed out by the Irish people, stated that it was selling over 6,000 family home loans to an unknown entity.

“Many of my constituents in Louth, in Drogheda and Dundalk, have received these letters, despite the fact that they had been engaging with the banks and many of them had never missed an agreed payment.

“This goes against the Central Bank’s Code of Practice which says that ‘a loan secured by the mortgage of residential property may not be transferred without the written consent of the borrower’.

“A former Fine Gael Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, previously endorsed these guidelines. Fine Gael were again elected to government by the people, and now they are reneging on their previous position, and are facilitating this behaviour by the banks, at the expense of ordinary families.

“Despite all that’s happened, this government is still favouring a light touch approach to regulation, even though these banks caused the economic crash, destroyed out economy and left the people to pick up the tab – a tab that we will be paying for decades to come.

“This government know that the Code of Practice on the transfer of mortgages wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

“The sale of these loans to vulture funds in recent months is proof of that. But Fine Gael did nothing to ensure that the code was adhered to. Now Sinn Féin are seeking to put the code on a legislative footing, and the government must support that.

“There are thousands of families who need protection from banks and vulture funds. The families behind the loans don’t feature in Fine Gael’s thinking.

“The government thinks that it is acceptable that families’ home loans are being sold off, while homeowners face potential eviction.

“Any TD who has a modicum of a conscience should do the right thing and support the No Consent No Sale bill, and offer protection to mortgage holders in this state.”

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