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30 house repossession cases heard at recent Clonmel Court

Thousands of Irish families are facing eviction, Tipperary Independent Deputy Seamus Healy told the Dáil. Ulster Bank alone has 4,700 repossession cases before the courts.

Thousands of Irish families are facing eviction, Tipperary Independent Deputy Seamus Healy told the Dáil. Ulster Bank alone has 4,700 repossession cases before the courts.

At Clonmel court recently, he said there were 30 such repossession cases and the same is happening in every courthouse right across this country. At the same time, thousands of Irish homes have been sold to foreign landlords.

“The Irish Nationwide Building Society non-performing loan book is being sold at knock down prices to American vulture capitalists Loan Star and Oakland Capital,” he said. “What have they immediately done? Their first action was to appoint Pepper of Australia as debt payment enforcers. The holders of these mortgages, who are the home owners, were not even allowed to bid for them. At the same time, the Government is allowing senior bankers to give each other and other rich friends huge secret write-downs using money borrowed by the State and supplied to the banks, when unemployed and low income families who owe as little as €20,000 on their homes are being bullied out of their homes or they are being repossessed. The banks have sole discretion on write-downs using State supplied money.”

Deputy Healy asked the Taoiseach if would bring forward immediately legislation to protect these and other mortgage holders from arbitrary interest rate increases and repossessions. “Will he bring forward legislation to bring complete transparency to the write-down process? Will the Government ban confidentiality clauses in that process? Finally, will the Government put in place fair, legally enforceable criteria for that write-down process?”

In response, the Taoiseach said there is no strategy in place to force or encourage possessions of people’s family homes.

“In fact, the Government’s approach to mortgage arrears and mortgage distress over the past two and a half years has involved putting in place a suite of opportunities for borrowers and lenders to work out sustainable solutions in each of these cases,” he said. “That is why the Personal Insolvency legislation was introduced and other facilities were brought into operation. I am glad to say these measures are having an impact on significant numbers of people. This is not happening as quickly as we would like, and is not helping as many people as we would like, but it is happening. A number of people just will not engage with the lender in the first place.”

In most cases, he said they are solvable if people are prepared to work out a solution and a conclusion.

 

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