Friday 19 January 2018

Call for two-year ban on repossessions of homes

Charlie Weston

A BAN on mortgage lenders going to court to repossess homes should last for two years, rather than six months as at present, an influential Oireachtas committee is to recommend.

The current rules on when lenders can start a legal action to repossess a house are meaningless, the Oireachtas Committee on Social and Family Affairs has concluded.

At the moment lenders have to wait six months from the time a homeowner first gets into arrears before they can initiate legal action.

In the case of Bank of Ireland and AIB, no legal action can begin until a year after a homeowner stops meeting their repayments.

Some 6,400 homeowners are in arrears for more than a year, figures uncovered by this newspaper last week show.

But the Oireachtas committee is set to tell the Government that banks, building societies and subprime lenders should be forced to wait two years before they start legal action to repossess a home, the Irish Independent has learned.

The regulations are being reviewed by the regulator with an expectation that all lenders will be forced to wait a year before taking legal moves to repossess.

Irish Independent

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