Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has stated that Fianna Fáil is the only party that has brought forward practical, deliverable proposals to help mortgage holders across a range of issues of concern.

In an eve of election message to voters, Michael McGrath stated, “We have put the issue of mortgages front and centre of our campaign for fairness. The monthly mortgage payment is the single biggest financial commitment for the tens of thousands of households. It is vital that the Department of Finance and Central Bank live up to their consumer protection role. This has not been the case up to now.

“Comprehensive action is required to ensure that homeowners paying variable interest rates are not ripped off, those falling into arrears have access to long-term sustainable solutions rather than facing repossession and ensure existing borrowers are treated on the same basis as new customers.

“The 46,000 mortgage holders whose loans have been sold to vulture funds are in particular need of help. Currently there is nothing to stop the buyers of these mortgages from increasing rates to 6% or 7% or even higher. The process we are proposing would be supported by a system of sanctions for banks which failed to comply with a direction order from the Central Bank in relation to mortgage rates.

Fianna Fáil in government will:

  • End the scandal of the variable interest rate rip-off by giving the Central Bank power to cap variable mortgage rates where clear evidence of a market failure exists.
  • Provide real, sustainable solutions to those in mortgage arrears or facing repossession.
  • Ensure that mortgage holders can switch easily between lenders to ensure they always benefit from the lowest rate available.
  • Protect borrowers from vulture funds.
  • Allow customers more time to make complaints to the Financial Services
  • Ombudsman regarding the sale of mortgage and other financial products.
  • Ensure existing borrowers are treated on the same basis as new customers.
  • Retain the Mortgage Interest Relief Scheme to 2020.
  • Empower Credit Unions to offer mortgages.