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Monday February 04, 2013 11:03 by Anti Eviction Taskforce - Anti Eviction Taskforce info at antievictiontaskforce dot com
Motion to the Dáil to ban eviction in Ireland
The Anti Eviction Taskforce (AET) have written to all Government Ministers across all political parties on behalf of all distressed mortgage holders in Ireland today, delivering a mandate to bring a motion before the Dáil to ban eviction in Ireland. This letter will arrive on the desks of all Ministers on February 4th 2013.
To explain the logic behind this mandate: The Government and Financial institutions continue to ignore the issue of distressed mortgages, which is resulting in much family distress, family break-up and, in some cases, suicide. While, as yet, eviction is not an everyday occurrence, it is only a matter of time before eviction becomes common place. This threat, along with the inaction by both the Government and Financial Institutions to devise credible resolution is disabling distressed mortgage holders and resulting in impasse.
To consider a typical distressed mortgaged home just now, the main wage earner is most likely unemployed (through no fault of their own). The value of the family home has diminished by over 50% but the cost of mortgage repayments are actually increasing. This is with no income now to cover this cost. Meanwhile, any earnings which are coming in to the family home are being diminished as a result of an increase in indirect taxation - the European Social Charge and Property Tax and numerous others.
While we at AET would not advocate that mortgages not be paid, it is very evident that in the current economic climate maintaining such payments is impossible. This is weighted against actual value, and in denial of a raft of issues; financial institutions behaved recklessly with the investment funds of citizens - hedging investment for private gain on the international financial markets with products which were essentially flawed (and in some cases no more than a 'cloud') - this all lead to the lack of funds available in the banks to furnish their customers' needs; this in turn led to the same banks withdrawing overdrafts for businesses; this led in turn to those businesses being unable to pay either their suppliers or their staff, this leading in turn to suppliers going out of business and staff becoming unemployed.
This is not news: this is the harsh reality of how banks treated their customers, government failed to protect the state, and the state in turn failed it's citizens. The situation is dire and pretty much impossible for great numbers of citizens who did no more to contribute to this situation than to enter into the market of owning their own home where they would raise their children in their own country and fulfil their own destinies. Much has been said. Many payments have been made to the 'highwaymen' who shield themselves behind the wrench they have exercised against our government who in turn has failed its people.
It is time for platitudes and payments to be properly addressed. At the very least, the mortgaged homeowner should now have a viable writedown appropriate to the financial wreckage which has been leveraged against their expectation. How this will be assessed will be a mathematical exercise based on the realities of the newly inherited market disaster which is currently to the benefit of no-one but the institutions and their bond holders. This is a Pandora's Box just waiting to be opened.
We have not mentioned in any detail here the fact that many of these mortgages are with institutions which were merely agents for financial products, sub-prime lenders, or institutions lacking in accountability which are currently moving out of Ireland and in some cases ceasing to exist (or altering their trading identities). Knowledge is Power, as Foucault presents. The people will seek answers - justice, truth, accountability and fair reasoning; the people will not be fooled forever. Those who do not emigrate, those who do not wish to see their deals rescinded and their futures blighted may well rise to ask questions, or seek to have questions answered in their names.
Many of these people are facing the execution of orders against their homes, their lives, their futures.
A repossessed home just now is put on the market and sold for a fraction of its value while the original mortgage holder is left homeless and dependent on social welfare. There is no logic here: and no Justice. By removing the option of eviction, financial institutions will have no choice but to engage fairly with the distressed mortgage holder in a manner that would be satisfactory to all parties.
Turning a blind eye to this issue, which has been the order of the day to date, is futile. The Government are taking money from citizens via: indirect taxes, wage cuts, social charges, property tax and others and in truth there has been little resistance to this, but we have now reached crisis point. Across all sectors from civil servants, Gardai, private sector workers, public sector workers - an inability to meet mortgage repayments is now the norm rather than the exception.
We want all ministers to know that as a representative body for distressed mortgage holders the AET expect that this mandate be regarded as a serious representation of the will and the wishes of the mortgaged homeowner and that it will be acted upon as Step One in the process of delivering equitable and achievable resolution to the issue of Distressed Mortgages in Ireland.
There are so many people in this country who could easily find themselves in a situation where they need help from the Anti Eviction Taskforce. Just imagine if you were to lose your job or worse, your health (or the health of a family member). If the unthinkable were to happen, would your family home be safe or would you be in danger of losing that too? We will be here to support you and your family. We would encourage everyone to please contact their local constituency offices to show their support for us, and for each other.
Signed: Anti Eviction Taskforce
For and on behalf of Distressed Mortgage Holders.
We are asking for support from people by sending the following letter all representatives
Dear Sir / Madam
I am writing to you on behalf of the currently distressed mortgage holders in Ireland:
Statistics March 2012
77,630, or 10.2 % of Mortgage holders, were in arrears of more than 90 days. This compares with 70,945 accounts (9.2 % of total) that were in arrears of more than 90 days at end-December 2011.
The number of accounts that were in arrears of more than 180 days was 59,437 at end-March 2012, equivalent to 7.8 per cent of the total. At end-December 2011, the number of accounts in arrears of more than 180 days was 53,120, or 6.9 per cent of the total.
Therefore, 116,288 accounts were either in arrears of over 90 days or had been restructured
and were performing as at the end of March.
In arrears 90-180 day: 87,293, over 180 days 1,209,459. Total = 1,296,752
Residential properties in possession – at end of quarter.
As you can see from the above statistics, distressed mortgage holders make up a large proportion of the Irish Electorate and these numbers are growing monthly. The issue of distressed mortgages in Ireland has been allowed to fester and grow since the downturn with both the Financial Sector and the Government of the day determinedly avoiding to take responsibility for the situation or to focus on developing equitable resolution to the issue (as is their duty).
Article 45 IV: That in what pertains to the control of credit the constant and predominant aim shall be the welfare of the people as a whole.
We have seen household debt increase from 68.9% of personal disposable income in 2000 to over 150% in 2007, and this % continues to rise as debt remains stagnant while income reduces or in many cases disappears
The result of this negligence by the Government of the Day is:
Ever increasing numbers of distressed mortgage holders
Ever increasing debts / arrears per household
Serious damage to the domestic economy
Untenable stress levels within those family units
Dramatic increases in family break-ups
Dramatic increase in suicide figures
This negligence by the Government (and by default, the financial sector) must now stop. It is critical that the issue of distressed mortgages be given top priority by this Government:
It now must be the goal of this Government to devise and drive resolution, to save family units, to save family homes and to save the lives of family member.
Step one in this process has to be; A Complete Cessation of Eviction in Ireland.
The automatic benefits of this cessation will be:
To reduce stress levels within family homes struggling with distressed mortgages.
A change in the playing field to focus both the Government and Financial Institutions on devising equitable and workable resolution to this issue thus eventually eliminating the issue long term.
A return to the ethical basis on which the Irish Constitution is founded; for the good of Irish Citizens.
In this letter we, the distressed mortgage holders of Ireland, deliver to you a clear mandate to present the Government with a motion to introduce a complete ban on eviction from the family home in Ireland with immediate effect.
This letter is being distributed to the attached list of Ministers / TD’s.
Please be advised that we do not wish to receive any automated replies, replies from your secretaries or any replies advising that you will look into this matter. This mandate requires your personal and IMMEDIATE ACTION.
There is no justification for any family to be put under severe duress or threat of eviction because of the economic downturn.
As our elected representative in this democratic country of Ireland, you are duty-bound to deliver on this mandate on behalf of the citizens of Ireland by immediately bringing forward a motion in the Dáil for a complete cessation of eviction in Ireland to protect the family home.
The Anti-Eviction Taskforce, (for and behalf of Distressed Mortgage Holders)