Call for test cases to claim ‘reckless lending’ compo

A POTENTIALLY groundbreaking test case claiming banks and the former government are directly responsible for the financial ruin of tens of thousands of homeowners and property investors is set to be taken against the State.

The Irish Property Council (IPC) has confirmed it is seeking individuals badly damaged by 100% mortgages, “reckless lending” and “a lack of regulation” as part of a planned case seeking mass compensation.

Notices due to be published in newspapers tomorrow will argue that people’s lives have been ruined by the system that created the Celtic Tiger-era property bubble.

As a result, the IPC — which mainly represents small-scale builders, developers and property investors — will ask some of those affected to put their names forward as part of a test case seeking to force compensation from the state and the banking sector.

“The destruction of the property market has been caused by the reckless lending of our banks, lack of regulation by our government and the disregard of prudent advice on fiscal policy by the Government in power,” the notice will read.

“Property owners in negative equity are being ruthlessly scapegoated through the courts without any responsibility for the catastrophe falling on the banks, Government, Financial Regulator or Department of Finance.

“The IPC require a willing plaintiff that can be supported in a court action... This case will be a landmark case requiring the support of all property owners who require a new direction to resolve this national crisis.”

Central Bank figures show more than 44,500 households are currently more than three months behind in mortgage repayments.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Padraic Ferry of Ferry Solicitors — who is offering the IPC legal advice — said: “We will be trying to raise questions on what took place in regulation, in encouraging people to invest or take mortgages, in property speculation.”

* irishpropertycouncil.com

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