Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

31st August, 2018

Minister needs to stand firm with banks in how they deal with distressed mortgages – Breathnach

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has said that the time is long overdue for our Minister for Finance to stand firm with banks in how they deal with distressed mortgages.

“We are now in the ludicrous situation that State owned banks sold off loans, sometimes performing loans, to private equity funds, the so-called “vulture funds” at knock-down prices. The same State are now buying back those same homes from these unscrupulous firms at market price.

“It has come to light that the Housing Agency is seeking to purchase 200 homes and 26 being purchased had been sold off in the recent past at a discount to a vulture fund.

“I have received replies to Parliamentary Questions saying that the Minister cannot have any interference with how banks conduct their business. However, this is no longer acceptable when it is affecting our citizens, the tax-payers, in such a negative way, said Breathnach.

“This is a very distressing situation for those who are finding it impossible to agree long term restructuring arrangements with their banks, who instead are taking the easy option of selling those loan books on to third parties, to reduce their level of non-performing loans.”

“I have said it on numerous occasions, there is a housing emergency in this country and emergency legislation is needed to deal with the complex issues. Our Government could introduce legislation which would place an amnesty on the sale of distressed mortgages for six months and instructing all the lending agencies to afford the local authorities the first opportunity to purchase distressed loans to increase our housing stock. In this way, families could be allowed remain in their homes. It is a no-brainer. The Government needs to start listening,” concluded Breathnach.

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email)