Fianna Fail radical proposals will protect family homes and address personal debt crisis

Donegal Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has welcomed the plan published by the party this week to help families stay in their homes and bring about greater control on debt management service providers.

“This is a comprehensive and realistic strategy that has been well crafted by our new finance team. I hope the Government will examine and adopt the measures we’re bringing forward.

“These reforms would have the effect of making it extraordinarily difficult for lenders to remove people from their homes and will significantly empower those in difficulty and afford greater protection to them.

“For months now there has been a genuine anxiety in communities, and I have heard them myself in Donegal, that a real threat was being posed to the family home in light of the unemployment problem affecting many families and their ability to keep up mortgage repayments and deal with other debt and bills.

“Keeping families in their homes, whether across Donegal or further afield, is the right thing to do for our society and our economy.  The fear of losing the family home and the stresses associated with managing personal debt is having an effect throughout the economy and contributing significantly to continued negative consumer sentiment.

“The package includes giving the courts a range of options as an alternative to granting a repossession order, including extending the period of mortgages by up to twenty years, imposing debt for equity swaps on lenders and in certain cases rescinding mortgage agreements.

“The Working Group has also endorsed and adopted the proposals of the Law Reform Commission on personal debt, to include the establishment of a Debt Settlement Office with the power to issue Debt Relief Orders for individuals who simply cannot and will not be in a position to service their personal debt. The time has also come to bring in sweeping reforms to the Mortgage Interest Supplement Scheme.

“Fianna Fáil, when in Government, established the Expert Group on Mortgage Arrears which led to the introduction of a series of initiatives including the requirement for lenders to establish Mortgage Arrears Resolution Processes and a new code of conduct for mortgage arrears.  We want to build on this important work now and protect people still in a very vulnerable position.

“If this Government is serious about helping this section of our society and is telling the truth when it talks about respecting the role of the Oireachtas, it will accept these proposals when they are brought before the Dáil and Seanad,” concluded Senator Ó Domhnaill.

Posted: Jul 15, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized