Those Pesky Loopholes

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(Above: The Defend Our Homes League protesting in March outside Ulster bank in support of Lee Wellstead who was evicted from his home in Laois along with his daughter)

The Government has agreed with the EU-IMF troika that it will fix the legal loophole preventing banks seizing the homes of defaulting borrowers, raising fears of a wave of repossessions in the new year.

The commitment was made in the latest review of the State’s bailout programme, published yesterday. The Government has said the Personal Insolvency Bill, which is due to come into effect before the end of the year, will provide “adequate protection” for the family home.

David Hall, director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, said there was an absence of stringent conditions in the Bill to give adequate protection to the family home. He said that while the personal insolvency arrangement provided for in the Bill was designed to protect the family home, it was subject to the agreement of the bank involved. He said the bank effectively had a veto.

“There’s a lottery there. You can avail of it but the bank controls the process,” he said.

 

And if they don’t now, they soon will.

Coalition to fix loophole to enable banks to seize homes (Harry mCGee, Eoin Burke-Kennedy, Dan O’Brien, Irish Times)

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)