Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath has said dealing with the issue of unregulated entities who have purchased mortgages from IBRC and other banks must be a priority for the Dáil in 2015.

He was speaking following weekend media reports of a threat of repossession action by Mars Capital Ireland against a former customer of IBRC who had temporarily fallen into arrears.

Deputy McGrath stated, “The Department of Finance has estimated that over 10,000 mortgages have been bought by unregulated entities. While these entities claim to be complying with the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, there is no way of verifying this. In truth, these mortgage holders are left in a no man’s land scenario relying on the goodwill of unregulated firms who are accountable to no Irish authorities.

“The communication with the client in question would appear to be quite high handed and certainly not in keeping with the spirit of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears. At the time the sale of IBRC mortgages was being undertaken, Fianna Fáil warned that voluntary compliance was an inadequate response to the very genuine concerns of customers. This concern would now appear to be well founded.

“In February 2013, the Oireachtas was able to enact emergency legislation to liquidate IBRC to protect the wider interests of taxpayers. As a parliament, we need to urgently address the issue of over 10,000 mortgage holders being denied vital statutory protections. The draft legislation has been published and there is no reason for any further delay. Legislation would provide welcome reassurance for thousands of mortgage holders who have been left in a very vulnerable situation through lack of regulation of so called ‘vulture funds’.”