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Human Rights in Ireland >>
The AET Condemns The Government Enabling Eviction
Thursday December 13, 2012 13:58 by Anti Eviction Taskforce - Anti Eviction Taskforce info at antievictiontaskforce dot com
The Anti Eviction Taskforce strongly condemns the intentions of the Irish Government in seeking to change the 2011 Judgment on the Land and Conveyance Law Reform Act 2009.
This Judgment currently makes it difficult for banks to gain repossession orders and has been one of the few protections available to distressed mortgage holders. Its existence is a strong motivation to Banks and Financial institutions to work with distressed mortgage holders to develop resolutions
We in AET are in daily contact with citizens in distress and it is to this government's shame and our dismay that we have to say to people that in reality there is little or no help or hope for them. There is NOTHING in place to deliver genuine help the homeowner currently and the banks are in no way obliged to offer any remedy.
Many of the loans books of the Banks and Financial Institutions have already been sold on, plus the state has financed the banks to cover any losses resulting from default on mortgage payments, plus Banks are also insured in the event of losses in respect of mortgage losses.
This begs the question 'how many times should a bank profit from a person's home', the banks have been paid and paid again, the people of Ireland bailed them out, 7.5 billion was given to them for mortgage debt, this year a further €1,000 a year will be taken out of people's pockets to pay the bondholders and bank but yet people are being evicted from their homes??
This term 'moral hazard' continues to be heavily weighted toward the banks and not the citizens of Ireland who are now forced to decide between paying their mortgage, paying essential bills or feeding their family.
The government continues to add insult to this injury with increased cuts plus the introduction of a property tax when 169,000 mortgages are already in arrears. For many people, the cost of this tax is equivalent to a month's food for their family, their ESB bill or the mortgage payment, what criteria can any distressed mortgage holder use to make the correct decision on what to pay in these dire circumstance?
As a direct result of this budget and now the proposed changes to the 2011 Judgment on the Land and Conveyance Law Reform Act 2009, AET forecast a tsunami of Irish Citizens in financial distress and all of its resulting consequence, mortgage distress, un-paid domestic bills, hunger, suicides, and more
Contrary to its electoral promises, this government has completely failed the homeowners of Ireland; have in fact made the situation worse.
The government's actions:
2009 Legislation enacted to fast track repossession
MARP, nothing to 'oblige' banks to offer remedy
Mortgage Interest Supplement (MIS): Contrary to the promises made in the programme for government, access to MIS has been restricted. Under new rules, hard-pressed mortgage holders will first have to approach their bank or building society and negotiate a restructuring of their mortgage.
Any restructuring plan will have to be in place for 12 months before they can even apply to the Department of Social Welfare for MIS. However, there is NOTHING in place that actually obliges the banks to negotiate with the homeowner. Restricted access to the Mortgage Interest Supplement will result in many more families losing their homes.
Insolvency Bill: Clearly favors the rights of creditors, banks and lending institutions. It will only work if 65pc of creditors agree. In practice, this gives the banks an effective veto. There is no appeal. The personal insolvency legislation, as it stands, gives no explicit protection to family homes.
Instead of converting MABS into a strengthened Personal Debt Management Agency with strong legal powers, €10million is being wasted providing money to accountants who can only explain what banks have offered and who cannot offer alternative advice.
Revenue officials have ordered banks to stop mortgage interest relief for households more than six months behind on their payments. This affects the majority of homeowners in distress.
The mortgage to rent scheme is extremely limited and again the taxpayer picks up the bill while the banks profit.
Since coming to power on a tidal wave of promises of 'change' starting with the infamous mantra of 'not one more red cent', we have seen nothing but broken promises and decisions which are causing a disastrous situation to deteriorate further, despite the present government's promise of 'being committed to helping homeowners in distress to weather the recession, and to ensuring that Ireland has a sustainable housing policy'
We would like to remind this government of the human cost of this crisis and remind them that the people of Ireland cannot be viewed as collateral damage, suicide is already increased by 25% and last January a father facing repossession took his own life, one of the many deaths directly linked to financial distress and this recession.The mortgage debt crisis is significantly contributing to the further deterioration of the domestic economy and devastating people's lives in Ireland today.
AET calls on the Government
- Not to change the 2011 Judgment on the Land and Conveyance Law Reform Act 2009.
- To introduce direction to the Banking and Financial institutions that will force equitable resolution to this current crisis and in the long term save the state money through not having to re-home or subsidies the re-homing these homeowners.
- Direct the Banks and financial institutions to review and adjust Mortgage Values based on current property values.
- To invest in creating sustainable employment which will deliver a wage adequate to resume mortgage repayments, and return good self esteem to distressed mortgage holders.
- Introduce a Blanket Ban on Eviction in Ireland
The distressed mortgage holders in Ireland did not cause this crisis but they can be part of a successful solution if the state stops ignoring this issue and actually engages to help resolve this crisis.