Plan to stop banks vetoing debt deals 'a game changer'
Plans to give courts new powers to overrule banks that veto debt deals will be a "huge game changer" for distressed mortgage holders, according to a top personal insolvency expert.
The chairman of the Association of Personal Insolvency Practitioners (APIP), Eric Hendy, said the expected decision by the Government would ensure banks were taken to task for "pulling the plug" on legitimate debt proposals.
He was responding to reports that the Government will introduce an 'examinership-style' model that will effectively strip banks of their veto.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, the Wicklow-based personal insolvency practitioner said he had seen banks pull the plug on deals just minutes before they must attend a creditors' meeting.
"Banks are hiding behind the use of the word 'policy' to vote down plans," he said. But Mr Hendy warned that banks have the upper hand during insolvency court hearings because mortgage holders choose not to turn up in court.
"The majority of people I deal with never have been inside a court, even for a speeding fine," he said.
"But if you don't turn up you make it much easier for them (the banks)."
Mr Hendy said the Government must also move to significantly increase the profile of the personal insolvency service.
Meanwhile, Tánaiste Joan Burton yesterday took a fresh swipe at bank bosses as the Government prepares to unveil its mortgage package.
"Certainly the banks seem to be rather forgetful as to what the Irish taxpayers did to bail them out and they have been well-capitalised - they have the resources that taxpayers provided and we want to see solutions," the Labour leader said.