10 July 2012

Mortgage arrears measures will help keep local families in their homes- Fitzgerald

Local Fine Gael TD and Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, has welcomed a range of measures announced by Government to assist people who are in mortgage arrears. The measures are aimed at allowing families who are in mortgage difficulty to stay in their homes, and providing advice and incentives for people with unsustainable mortgages.  

The measures taken by the Government to assist those in mortgage difficulty include: the Personal Insolvency Bill, the Mortgage to Rent Scheme and information and guidance resources for at risk mortgage holders. In addition lenders have suggested options to the Central Bank for mortgage arrears resolution measures such as split mortgages.

“The measures introduced this week are an effort to assist families and individuals who are facing difficulties in repaying their mortgages. Each family or individual in mortgage arrears faces unique difficulties and with that in mind it’s appropriate that the Government has created a range of solutions to help mortgage holders in difficulty.  

“The Personal Insolvency Bill will allow people who are insolvent, including mortgage holders, to resolve their situation over a defined period. The Mortgage to Rent Scheme is aimed at the most distressed mortgage holders and involves the mortgage holder becoming, in effect, a social housing tenant whereby the State will, where necessary, subsidise the rent. This measure will allow people who are extremely exposed to remain within their own homes instead of facing repossession.

“Furthermore lending institutions have submitted options to the Central Bank on how stressed mortgages may be dealt with. One such option is a ‘split mortgage’ which would involve splitting the mortgage into what the debtor can affordably pay with the rest being ‘warehoused’,” said Fitzgerald.

Minister Fitzgerald, whose office in the heart of Clondalkin Village has been helping constituents to access supports, believes that these measures will be of help to a majority of people in mortgage difficulties.

“All of these provisions are aimed at providing debt resolution arrangements for genuinely insolvent debtors including those in mortgage arrears. However, none of these measures should be viewed as an alternative for those who can afford to meet their debts. If people can meet their debts, it is in their best interests to do so.  

“I believe these measures should be welcomed by the banks because it is in their interests to ensure that their debtors do not become bankrupt, which should always be the last resort. In addition to the provisions announced, the banks will introduce new mortgage initiatives to provide credit for new homeowners in order to restore a regular functioning residential property market.

“There is no quick fix or one size fits all solution to the mortgage issue. This is why we have introduced a range of different measures. Fundamentally these provisions will allow for thousands of families across Clondalkin, Lucan, Palmerstown, Rathcoole and Newcastle to remain in their homes and for that reason they are to be welcomed.”