Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Justice to clarify why proposals for a nationwide moratorium on home repossessions have not been brought before the Cabinet. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Irish Examiner newspaper reported today that a €15 million free financial and legal advice fund is to be created as part of government efforts to assist families in serious mortgage arrears:
“While reports that a €15 million fund is to be established is certainly welcome it still falls significantly short of what is actually required to stop the flow of home repossessions coming before the courts.
What we need is an immediate moratorium on repossessions in order to avoid mortgage arrears situations developing into what are generally protracted and lengthy legal disputes.
This is even more important now as we enter a time of increased political and economic instability in light of the UK referendum result.
Families and businesses that may have been clinging on with respect to making mortgage repayments are inevitably going to feel squeezed over the next year or two; I am thinking in particular of those families in the agri-sector who will probably feel the impact most in the short term.
Funds to offer legal advice are all well and good but what we desperately need is for someone to call a halt to repossessions until we can put effective, workable solutions before people in mortgage distress.
Ultimately what we cannot afford to do is allow the current, total political focus on Brexit to overshadow the possibility of making immediate reforms that will offset some of the economic fallout that may or not occur.
At any rate the Minister needs to urgently clarify where the issue of the proposed moratorium stands with respect to being brought before Cabinet along with suggestions around establishing a special court to deal with what is still a crisis of huge proportions here,” concluded Deputy McGrath.