Tuesday 17 October 2017

Kenny and Gilmore to meet banks tonight to outline plans for struggling mortgage holders

Fiach Kelly

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore will this evening meet the main banks to tell them about new laws aimed at helping homeowners in trouble with their mortgages.

The new proposal will reduce the time someone has to wait for their record of bankruptcy to be cleared from 12 years to three years, as well as asking the banks to introduce new mortgage products to help struggling mortgage holders.

Mr Kenny said the new laws will "give a greater balance to rights of a borrower and the lender and incentivise both parties to come to an agreed solution".

A new service providing mortgage assistance will also be set up under Social Protection Minister Joan Burton and there will be an increased role for local authorities to solve the crisis through their own housing stocks.

The new proposals are designed to take mortgage disputes away from the courts, and be dealt with between banks and individual borrowers.

However, the banks will have final say over any deal done on the mortgages.

Mr Kenny said the banks must play a part in resolving a crisis "which is partly their creation" and said the new rules are designed to help people who can't pay their debts, rather than those who can but refuse to do so.

Fianance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin will also be at tonight's meeting with the banks, and the bill introducing the new laws will be published on Friday.

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