Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has welcomed a decision by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to review the 8% interest rate applying to judgment mortgages. The Deputy received confirmation of the move after he submitted a Parliamentary Question on the issue.
Deputy McGrath stated, “I discovered in a recent Parliamentary Reply that over 40,000 judgment mortgages have been granted in the period 2010 to 2015. Judgment mortgages are commonplace and are typically registered against the family home or the business property of a debtor.
“The Tánaiste has now confirmed to me that an 8% interest rate is typically applied to judgment mortgages under the Courts Act 1981 (Interest on Judgment Debts). Many debtors are not aware of this and only realise it when the judgment mortgage is discharged, often years down the road.
“The Tánaiste has stated in her reply the rate ‘appears high’ and has asked her department to examine the situation with a view to determining whether the rate needs to be adjusted. Many families have ended up with judgment mortgages attached to their home because of a business failure or an investment decision that went wrong.
“Applying an 8% interest charge per annum on a judgment mortgage is punitive and unnecessary. No one wants to have a judgment mortgage registered against them and I welcome the fact the Department of Justice and Equality is embarking a review of this interest rate.”