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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Families face hard choices to get mortgage deal – Bruton

Charlie Weston and Caroline Crawford

A GOVERNMENT minister has warned that families will have to re-evaluate their priorities if they want mortgage debt written off.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton insisted each deal would be dealt with on its own merits.

"Obviously, in a situation where people have a huge financial obligation and they are seeking to manage it, they do have to look afresh at what are their priorities," he said.

The guidelines will be launched by the new Insolvency Service next week. The emphasis will be on getting people to drop health insurance, get rid of a second car and take children out of private schools.

Mr Bruton said: "Clearly there will have to be guidelines to ensure the system is fair."

But a leading mortgage debt campaigner said the guidelines were too severe. David Hall, of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, said the new rules gave banks too much control.

"This is the same as the banks looking at a body and seeing how much blood they can suck out of it so that it just about keeps functioning. They are allowing people to barely stay alive."

Mr Hall said some banks allowed families to set a limit. But if they go above this or spend on luxuries then the banks step in to stop this.

The chief executive of health insurer GloHealth, Jim Dowdall, said that such a move "would be counter-productive".

"If you give up health insurance, you then become entirely dependent on an already overstretched public health system, resulting in longer waiting times for all," he said.

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Irish Independent

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