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Cabinet to consider Bill to help borrowers in mortgage arrears

The Bill aims to broaden the matters a judge needs to take into account when considering repossessions.

Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE Charlie Flanagan will this morning seek government approval for a Bill which aims to broaden the matters a judge needs to take into account when considering repossessions. 

The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill was first proposed as a Private Members’ Bill by Minister of State Kevin Boxer Moran. 

Under the bill, the court would have to take into account a bank’s refusal or reluctance to engage in attempts to find a resolution to the arrears issue. 

It would also have to taken into account the borrower’s refusal to engage in meaningful engagement with the bank in order to find such a resolution. 

The court would also have to take into account a number of other matters when considering the making or refusal of a possession order. These include: 

  • Whether the making of the order would be proportionate in all the circumstances of the case.
  • The circumstances of the borrower and their dependents (if any). 
  • Whether the lender has made a statement to the borrower of the terms on which it would be prepared to settle the matter in such a way that the borrower and their dependents could remain in their principal private residence.
  • Details of any proposal put forward by or on behalf of the borrower.
  • The response, if any, of the lender to the borrower’s proposal to remain in the principal private residence.
  • The conduct of the parties in any attempt to find a resolution to the borrower’s mortgage arrears difficulties. 

The Bill also provides that the court may regard certain additional matters when considering the order, which as the amount of debt and arrears outstanding on the mortgage and the advised market value of the residence at the date on which the proceedings commenced.

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