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A week of progress on promises - Eamon Gilmore

Posted on June 29, 2012 at 04:49 PM

Two key measures to deal with the issue of personal and mortgage debt were announced this week.

Yesterday, Minister for Housing, Jan O'Sullivan launched the Mortgage to Rent scheme on a national basis. This scheme will allow for transfer of ownership of the property to an approved housing body, with the family becoming tenants. We want to ensure that where possible, families can remain in their homes.

[We blogged about Minister O'Sullivan's Mortgage to Rent scheme which you can read at this link.]

Today the Government launched the Personal Insolvency Bill which radically reforms Ireland's bankruptcy laws; provides for Debt Relief Notices for debts up to €20,000; and a Debt Settlement Arrangement and Personal Insolvency Arrangement which will allow home owners to enter into an arrangement with banks in order to write down mortgage debt on a case by case basis.

[Find out more about the Personal Insolvency Bill at this link.]

But the really critical change is the reform of Bankruptcy law. This will dramatically change the balance of power between customers and banks. Banks now know that they have to offer reasonable proposals; otherwise the customer will have the option of bankruptcy.

When we came into Government, we promised that we would tackle the complex issues around distressed mortgages and personal debt. Every day we are working hard to deliver on that promise.

I'm sure you'll agree that from Labour's point of view, these developments are as welcome as they are encouraging.

Eamon Gilmore TD


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