The refusal of the government to enact legislation in the short term to protect the IBRC mortgage holders whose mortgages are being sold leaves the mortgage holders extremely vulnerable and having to rely on the kindness of strangers, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson.
Deputy McGrath was speaking following last night’s second stage debate on Fianna Fáil’s Protection of Residential Account Holders Bill which is designed to ensure that any mortgage holder whose mortgage is sold to an unregulated vulture fund would continue to enjoy the protections of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears and access to the Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO).
Deputy McGrath commented, “While I welcome the fact the government is supporting the Bill at second stage, it is deeply disappointing that the government has no intention of legislating on this issue until 2015 – which is too late for almost 13,000 IBRC mortgage holders and possibly thousands of others whose bank may decide to sell their loan book before then.
“While the government believes it is horrendously complex to legislation to protect mortgage holders, it had no problem in passing emergency legislation overnight to appoint a liquidator to a bank with assets worth €12 billion. I do not for a moment believe it is beyond the capacity of the legislature to deal with the plight that mortgage holders are now facing. The sad truth is that the political will is not there on the part of government to deal with this.
“In deciding not to address this issue prior to the sale of the mortgage book by the Special Liquidators, the government has completely abandoned the IBRC mortgage holders. Once the sale of the mortgage book is finalised in the coming weeks, the mortgage holders will stand on their own against a multi-billion dollar US fund which is answerable to no one.
“All that the mortgage holders will be left with is their original mortgage agreement which allows the new owner of the mortgage to initiate legal proceedings on them immediately if they experience any difficulty in repaying their mortgage. An unenforceable gentleman’s agreement to voluntarily comply with the Code is of little comfort to mortgage holders worried about protecting their family home.”