Pearse Doherty TD to move legislation to prevent vulture funds from preying on mortgage holders
Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD is to publish details of his ‘No Consent, No Sale Bill’ which aims to ensure that no mortgage can be sold to a vulture fund without the consent of the mortgage holder.
This is already provided for in a Central Bank Code of Practice but it is the only code of practice which is voluntary.
It states: “A loan secured by the mortgage of residential property may not be transferred without the written consent of the borrower.”
Teachta Doherty’s Bill seeks put this code of practice on a statutory footing in what he describes as a start in Sinn Féin’s campaign to defeat the vultures and end the arrears crisis.
Speaking at a briefing on the issue in Leinster House today, alongside iCare Housing CEO David Hall, and Carly Bailey, whose mortgage was sold to a Vulture, Deputy Doherty said:
“In November of last year, a State-owned bank that had been bailed out by the Irish people, brazenly announced that it was selling over 6,000 family home loans to an unknown entity.
“This was a new low in Irish banking- these loans were meeting their arrangement. They were being thrown to the vultures despite doing the right thing of engaging and making a permanent arrangement with the bank.
“It is fundamentally unfair and I believe unacceptable to most Irish people. Yet the government and Central Bank will not act to stop it.
“Our bill, which will be introduced tomorrow, simply puts into law the Code of Practice the Central Bank itself wrote in the nineties.
“The Code is voluntary which means it is not issued under Section 117 of the Central Bank Act. Indeed, as we saw from Permanent TSB the bankers don’t even know of its existence – that is about to change.
“In the last Dáil, Minister Michael Noonan told Paschal Donohue TD with regard to the Code of Practice on the Transfer of Mortgages that: ‘Notwithstanding its voluntary nature, I expect that best practice dictates that the Code be applied by all institutions to all classes of residential property’.
“That was only six years ago, so what has changed and why?
“This Bill marks a start in Sinn Féin’s campaign to defeat the vultures and end the arrears crisis.”