Appealing to banks' morality will not solve housing crisis, Dáil committee told

Appealing to banks' morality will not solve housing crisis, Dáil committee told

It is too late to appeal to banks' sense of decency when dealing with the mortgage crisis, it was claimed today.

The Dáil's Housing and Homelessness committee heard calls for radical thinking for dealing with mortgages in arrears.

“Moral doesn’t come into it,” said David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association.

“This is a production line. These are people, and things have moved. The time to hit them with the moral argument was 2008, 9, 10 and 11.

“They moved on.”

Calling for changes to legislation to force banks to deal with debtors, he also criticised the Finance Minister Michael Noonan for his dealings with vulture funds.

“I think Minister Noonan is ill-advised,” he said.

“I think his preference to have met, and I said this to him, to have met vulture funds versus debtor advocates over the last five years was deeply concerning.”

The Insolvency Service also appeared before the committee.

They say not enough people are aware that their free service is there to help and can negotiate with creditors.

Director of the ISI, Lorcan O'Connor, said that they have negotiated 120,000 deals since being formed.

“Since the insolvency service opened, we have had approximately 120,000 informal deals done, and that number was zero before we opened.”

This afternoon the Housing Committee sits again to hear from the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

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