Repossession law will have safety net – Shatter
The Government is going to bring in a final safety net for homeowners on the brink of having their house repossessed.
The legal loophole currently blocking repossessions will be removed in new legislation to be published shortly.
The legislation to address the loophole caused by the Dunne Judgement is expected to result in an increase in the number of repossessions.
But Justice Minister Alan Shatter announced last night that the law will contain a provision allowing a court, in a case for repossession of a primary home, to suggest a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) might be a more appropriate course of action. If the judge decides this approach is worth trying, the repossession hearing can be adjourned for two months.
"What I am seeking to provide, by way of this provision, is a transparent, final, time limited safety net for a homeowner where repossession is being pursued without the PIA possibility having been fully explored by the parties," the minister said.
However, Mr Shatter said repossession may be in the best interests of the borrower "as a last resort".
"This could arise, for example, if there are substantial arrears and there is no prospect that the borrower will be in a position to address these arrears or to restore some stability to the mortgage situation.
"This is in fact recognised in some cases and currently the majority of repossessions arise on a voluntary basis, or there is some other voluntary arrangement to address the unsustainable mortgage," he added.