Mortgage-arrears plans may remove 'final word' from banks: Harris

Mortgage-arrears plans may remove 'final word' from banks: Harris

The Junior Finance Minister Simon Harris has said the Government will announce new plans to tackle the mortgage arrears crisis within the next two weeks.

Mr Harris claimed the measures would specifically target people in long-term arrears.

Currently a third of all those who are behind on their payments are in mortgage arrears of 720 days or more.

The details of the plans have yet to be finalised, but Junior Minister Harris wants to include an alternative to the banks' veto on personal insolvency arrangements.

"It's (like) an examinership for mortgage-holders," he said.

"In others words - you put an offer to the bank and they say no - thanks very much. Well, the bank would not have the final word on it. The judge can ask a personal insolvency practitioner to put in place an agreement and if that agreement is reasonable, the court could make that legally binding."

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