Politics

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Noonan says TDs frightening Irish Nationwide mortgage holders with "exaggerated claims" about sale of loans

Fionnan Sheahan

Published 20/02/2014|10:44

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Michael Noonan, Ireland's finance minister, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Noonan said Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told him at Davos last week that RBS unit Ulster Banks position in Ireland wont change as part of parent review to conclude next month. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Michael Noonan
Michael Noonan

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan is accusing opposition TDs of making “exaggerated claims” and frightening homeowners on the sale of 13,000 Irish Nationwide mortgages.

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The Special Liquidator of IBRC – the remnants of the former Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide – is currently selling the mortgage book.

The sale has led to fears about the treatment of mortgage holders by the new owners of their loans.

The Government is insisting the sale will not change the mortgage contract.

But homeowners are worried about losing the protection of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears.

Mr Noonan said TDs are “frightening decent people” with “widely emotional language”.

“They are being wound up by TDs making exaggerating claims and frightening people to headlines in the papers,” he said.

The minister said TDs were hyping the situation.

“It is unfair to the mortgage-holders to be raising unreal fears,” he said.

Mr Noonan said the Government will make contact with the new owners of the loan book.

“We’ll talk to them. We’ll say: ‘We expect you to comply. What’s the story?’.” 

The minister said if there are additional terms applied to the sale of the mortgages, it will diminish the value and could leave the Government open to legal challenge from other IBRC creditors.

But Mr Noonan says if the required price is not met, the mortgages will be transferred to NAMA.

“NAMA will be mindful and apply best practices,” he said.

The minister said the previous two buyers of mortgage loan books from banks have abided by the CCMA.

“I have no reason to believe this will not also be the case in relation to the sale of IBRC loans,” he said.

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