A government minister has admitted that thousands of people in mortgage misery are living in fear of bailed-out banks in response to repeated questioning by South Tipperary Independent TD Seamus Healy.
At leaders questions in the Dail, Deputy Healy for the third time, raised the question of low income families losing their homes under current debt resolution arrangements.
“Three weeks ago, Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted there was a solution for all distressed mortgage holders which would enable them to stay in their homes. Two weeks ago, Tanaiste Eamonn Gilmore denied that the problem existed.
“But now after I raised the issue a third time adducing irrefutable evidence, Minister Ruairi Quinn has admitted that there was a problem and that the Government would have to do more to keep people in their homes”.
Mr Healy had said tens of thousands of families were unable to access the new insolvency structure.
“There is a category of individuals — rather than individual families — numbering up to 30,000 families who cannot avail of insolvency arrangements put in place by the Government,” he said.
“As a result, they face the loss of their family homes. That will add another 20,000 or 30,000 to the 90,000 people already on our local authority house waiting lists.
“They will also have to avail of rent supplement, at much cost to the State.
“Currently, the only solution for these families is bankruptcy.
“These are blameless people on low incomes with no disposable income, so they cannot avail of insolvency arrangements.”
Mr Quinn said the Government had moved to ease the plight of people in mortgage debt, but fear still existed.
“I accept that we have a problem. We have known that from the very beginning and since we came into government,” he said.
“I accept that thousands of families are currently living in fear, and people in my constituency are struggling with the issue.”