Thousands suffer mortgage misery in fear of banks

Thousands of people in mortgage misery are living in fear of bailed-out banks, a minister has admitted.

Ruairi Quinn made the remarks in response to Independent TD Seamus Healy who warned struggling families were being “bullied” by banks rescued by the taxpayer.

Mr Healy said tens of thousands of families were unable to access the new insolvency structure.

“There is a category of individuals — rather than individual families — numbering up to 30,000 families who cannot avail of insolvency arrangements put in place by the Government,” he said.

“As a result, they face the loss of their family homes. That will add another 20,000 or 30,000 to the 90,000 people already on our local authority house waiting lists.

“They will also have to avail of rent supplement, at much cost to the State.

“Currently, the only solution for these families is bankruptcy.

“These are blameless people on low incomes with no disposable income, so they cannot avail of insolvency arrangements.”

Mr Quinn said the Government had moved to ease the plight of people in mortgage debt, but fear still existed.

“I accept that we have a problem. We have known that from the very beginning and since we came into government,” he said.

“I accept that thousands of families are currently living in fear, and people in my constituency are struggling with the issue.”


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