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Huge increase in families facing eviction because of government actions – McDonald

12 November, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin’s Leas Uachtaráin, Mary Lou McDonald TD, has spoken out against government measures which has led to a tenfold increase in eviction proceedings in the courts. The rise has led to a dramatic increase in the number of families losing their homes.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Tánaiste across the country thousands of families are living in fear of losing their home. Hard working families who bought average family homes are being dragged through the courts by their lenders. These are the very same banks who were bailed out by the taxpayer.

“Last year 7,100 families had court proceedings lodged against them. Over the past nine months banks have lodged 4,500 eviction proceedings with the courts. Every month banks are lodging hundreds of fresh court actions against families in mortgage distress

“Hundreds more families are being coerced by the banks into selling their homes rather than face the horror of court action. Tánaiste why is this happening?

“The answer is very simple. In 2013 your government passed the Land and Conveyancing Act. The intention of that act was to make it easier for the banks to evict people from their homes. The figures speak for themselves.

“Before the Act became law banks lodged between 50 to 100 court actions lodged every month. After the act became law the number exploded to between 500 to 1000 per month – that is a tenfold increase. You open the flood gates Tánaiste and then sat back and once again allowed the banks to call the shots.  As a result the number of court ordered evictions has increased dramatically

“There have been 1088 in the first nine months of this year compared with 644 during the same period in 2014 and 240 during the same period in 2013. The pattern is clear.

“I think you are engaging Tánaiste in a very dangerous form of wishful thinking if you believe that this problem has been contained or if you believe that it will miraculously disappear. That is not the case. When you talk to people in the field who deal day in day out with people in mortgage distress - they will tell you that we are seeing just the beginning of the high point of this crisis. That’s the reality.

“Tánaiste, where is the recovery for the families who face eviction because of your actions? What will you and your government do to keep these people in their homes? When Tánaiste will you stand up to the banks and insist that they provide families with sustainable solutions to mortgage distress?”

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