Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 March 2018

Five-point plan outlined to avert borrowing 'intimidation'

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

A prominent IFA campaigner has come up with a five-point plan to address the problems faced by distressed borrowers under pressure from their lenders.

Limerick farmer David Thompson has described the treatment of distressed borrowers as "outrageous and unacceptable" following a string of cases that farmers have outlined to him over the past number of months.

"I have raised this whole issue with the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter," said Mr Thompson.

"His office has pointed out that legislation already exists that states that it is an offence to demand payment of a debt in a way designed to alarm, distress or humiliate.

"Unfortunately, the courts ignore this or the poor borrower is not in a position to afford legal representation in court," he added.

Instead, Mr Thompson claims that he listened to numerous accounts of threats, assault, theft and intimidation from farming families under severe financial strain.

In an effort to give borrowers more protection, Mr Thompson has outlined five suggestions to Mr Shatter. They include:

• More rights for the borrower to hold on to machinery or property when a large percentage of the loan has been paid.

Also Read

• Repossession should only be a last resort after proper negotiations.

• Receiver and solicitor charges in the event of a repossession should be capped.

• Receivers should not be allowed to alter or devalue property in their care.

• Where repossession is unavoidable, it should be carried out by the State rather than unregulated 'special security' appointees.

Darragh McCullough

Indo Farming

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