Longford-Westmeath TD aims to tackle repossession blues

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

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Independent Alliance TD for Longford/Westmeath, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran.

Longford-Westmeath TD Kevin Boxer Moran believes his new bill aimed at keeping people in their own homes will keep a lid on repossession numbers.

The Keeping People in their Homes Bill 2017 is a piece of legislation which could allow courts to take into account additional circumstances such as the effect losing a home can have on children.

The Independent Alliance TD is hoping the parameters of the new bill will meet the approval of his fellow Fine Gael government colleagues.

Everyone in the House knows from people calling to their constituency office and attending their clinics that there are families, mothers, fathers, and children suffering in the nightmare scenario of losing their home,” Mr Moran said in the Dail last week.

The Athlone-based politician attempted to hammer home his remarks by quoting statistics from the Central Bank.

He said data taken from September 2016 showed that of 738,506 mortgage accounts relating to principal dwellings, 79,562 accounts were in arrears, of which 56,350 were in arrears of over 90 days.
“On the week before Christmas there were around 25 repossession cases in Kerry, 50 in Tipperary, 85 in Athlone and more in Waterford,” he said.

Mr Moran said the Programme for Government of which his political grouping signed up to in the aftermath of General Election 2016 was geared towards keeping families in their principal homes.

He also insisted the bill was to ensure the correct application of EU law by Irish courts when dealing with repossession.

“It is incredible that nine years after the crash we are still talking about mortgage arrears in this House,” he said.

“The problem remains real and we have been elected by the people to solve the problem. We must act now.

“The mortgage arrears crisis can and must be resolved. In more recent Irish court judgments, the courts are increasingly turning their attention to the issues I have just raised.

“The legacy of the housing price crash remains to bear witness to the silent suffering citizens. It is suffering that must be brought to an end and we must show the political will to do so.”

The Independent Alliance chief whip is expected to hold talks with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgeralsd over the coming days in an attempt to secure Fine Gael support as to the bill's finer contents.

The Bill is also an amendment to the existing Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009, which enables a lender to apply to the courts for an order of possession.