Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen has restated his party’s commitment to assisting distressed homeowners who are facing repossession.

Deputy Cowen commented, “Assisting people in mortgage arrears and families at risk of losing their home through repossession must be a priority for the next Government. There has been a 20% increase in the number of repression orders on primary dwellings granted by circuit courts in 2015 compared to 2014.

“The Mortgage-to-Rent scheme was implemented with the view to keeping people in their homes. However it has not had the desired effect as only 2.9% of the 98,137 mortgage holders in arrears have actually applied to use the scheme. Furthermore just 3% of applicants are ultimately successful in getting assistance under the scheme. This needs to change.

“Fianna Fáil will set up a new system of state and creditor funded insolvency practitioners to help people at risk of repossession. We would also apply a zero interest rate to the warehoused portion of all split mortgages offered to customers in arrears, and prevent banks getting a repossession order when they have failed comply with the Conduct on Mortgage Arrears.

“A Fianna Fáil led Government will take the steps that are needed to help people at risk of repossession. We have given this issue a lot of thought and we have a plan ready to assist struggling families,” said Deputy Cowen.