The government must move early in the new Dáil session to protect up to 10,000 vulnerable mortgage holders whose mortgages have been sold off to unregulated third parties, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath.
Deputy McGrath was speaking after he published the Fianna Fáil submission on the Department of Finance’s public consultation process which concluded on August 22nd.
Deputy McGrath stated, “Mortgage holders whose loans are with a financial institution regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland currently enjoy the projection of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears and have recourse to the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman.
“In the event that their loans are sold to an unregulated their party, they lose these statutory rights and potentially are exposed to higher variable rates, more interest surcharges and a heightened risk of repossession. In simple terms, people who find their mortgages sold in such circumstances are at the mercy of unregulated third parties who are answerable to no one.
“The Minister for Finance has informed me in the Dáil that up to 10,000 mortgage holders currently find themselves in this very exposed situation. The Government has promised legislation in 2015 to deal with the sale of mortgages to unregulated entities. Now that the public consultation period has closed, I am calling on the government to bring forward its legislation early in the new Dáil session to address this issue.
“Fianna Fáil published a bill in February of this year which was debated in the Dáil. The Bill was a genuine attempt to deal with this issue and was allowed to pass second stage in the Dáil. Since then, Fianna Fáil has consistently put the government under pressure to accelerate the publication of its own legislation.
“While I welcome the public consultation process which has now concluded, I believe it is imperative that the Oireachtas moves in the autumn to ensure that all residential mortgage holders in the country have access to the same vital statutory protections.”