Tuesday 24 October 2017

Banks' new powers come with great responsibility to homeowners

AN American magazine recently characterised this country as one where paying your mortgage is optional. The 'Atlantic' magazine reckoned that it was almost impossible for banks to repossess a property here. That is about to change, with the enactment of the Land and Conveyancing Bill.

Banks have also secured some dramatic changes in the Central Bank's code of conduct on mortgage arrears. Advocates for mortgage holders are adamant that the pendulum has swung too far in favour of the lenders. In particular, they cite the move to end the one-year moratorium on repossession actions.

All this means that homeowners in arrears are going to be faced with some very tough choices. This will especially be the case for the more than 51,000 homeowners who are more than a year behind on their repayments.

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