This Week In The Seanad

This week we debated:

Taxi Regulation Bill 2012 – Report Stage
[Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport]

Private Members Business —-
This Motion sets forth that Seanad Eireann notes:
The worsening crisis in respect of mortgage arrears with over 94,000 residential mortgages in arrears for greater than 90 days and over 28,00 buy to let mortgages in arrears for the same period.
Almost one in four family home mortgages and more than one in three buy to let mortgages are now either in arrears or have been restructured
The slow progress made to date by banks in identifying and implementing solutions for distressed borrowers
The additional burden being placed on families struggling with their mortgage arising from cuts to child benefit, PRSI increases, the Local Property Tax and other measures in Budget 2013
The adverse impact on mental health, the well being of society and the domestic economy arising from the failure to adequately address mortgage distress
Widespread concern about the threat of a significant increase in family home repossessions arising from the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Targets Programme, the proposed changes to the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears and the government’s plan to reverse the Dunne judgment
In effect, the bank will retain a veto in the vast majority of cases over any proposal to restructure the mortgage under the planned new personal insolvency service
Recognises
The importance of tackling the mortgage arrears crisis to support economic recovery
The best interests of society is served by ensuring that families can remain in their homes so long as reasonable efforts are made to meet their mortgage commitments
Calls for
The establishment of clear, consistently applied guidelines in respect of reasonable living expenses for distressed borrowers,
The family home to be protected from repossession unless every other possible alternative has been exhausted including giving the borrower the option of entering a mortgage-to-rent arrangement,
The government not to introduce legislation to remove obstacles to the repossession of family homes until such time as the Central Bank is satisfied that the banks are properly addressing the mortgage arrears crisis by entering into meaningful long-term sustainable solutions to mortgage distress with individual borrowers,
The setting up of an Independent Mortgage Resolution Office under the new Insolvency Service to arbitrate between borrowers and lenders and where necessary to make a binding mortgage resolution order,
Greater emphasis on implementation of long-term sustainable mortgage solutions such as split mortgages, shared equity and permanent interest rate reductions.

Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Bill 2013 – Second Stage
[Minister for Health]
Spokesperson Senator Colm Burke

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