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Residents of Priory Hall protest outside The Government Buildings in February Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Priory Hall

Priory Hall residents request meeting with Irish Banking Federation

Later this month, they will hear if Dublin City Council has to provide them with temporary accommodation. The residents are requesting that mortgage providers suspend their mortgages until a solution is put in place.

PRIORY HALL RESIDENTS have requested a meeting with the Irish Banking Federation to discuss the impending mortgage crisis for the approximately 100 families who own homes in Priory Hall.

On 24 April Dublin City Council will go to the Supreme Court to appeal a High Court order that the Council provides temporary accomodation to the residents while they are legally prohibited from living in their homes.

Should the council be successful in having this order overturned the residents will be required to seek alternative accomodation and pay both rent and a mortgage, which they say would be “financially untenable”.

Graham Usher, a Priory Hall resident and spokesperson said that they have written to Pat Farrell, head of the IBF, and they “would be fairly hopeful” about the outcome.

We would be hopeful. We feel it is a reasonable request because the reality is that if Dublin City Council are successful this is going to become the bank’s problem as much as it is the residents’. It won’t be a question of won’t pay the mortgage, it will be a question of won’t be able to pay it.

The residents will be requesting that the mortgage providers suspend the mortgages until such time as a solution is put in place. The alternative for the residents is that they either voluntarily surrender their properties to the banks without penalties or be forced to default on their mortgages.

A number of the residents have been offered short term moratoriums on their repayments. However, they said:

interest and capital continues to accumulate on these mortgages and as the situation drags on indefinitely we face the very real danger that the mortgage balances and repayments will increase to the point where they become unsustainable.
Unfortunately, the professional advice that we have received is that in the absence of a solution to Priory Hall and asuspension of the mortgages our only option may be to avail of the upcoming bankruptcy and insolvency legislation due to be enacted later this year. This seems a harsh fate for those unfortunate homeowners who through no fault of their own find themselves in this unprecedented situation.

By ‘suspend’, they are asking that their mortgages are frozen in place at their current balance with no accrual of interest or penalties for the duration of the suspension. They are also asking that the residents’ clean credit ratings to remain intact.

Usher said that if people go into arrears, penalties will be applied, and “a mortage could quickly spiral beyond people’s ability to pay”.

He said that residents have had a lack of communication with the Government, local authorities and the banks, who “won’t take any joined-up approach”, which means that “people are in the dark”.

Usher added that “it is the uncertainty that is really getting to people” and the residents need time to make a back-up plan if Dublin City Council are told they do not have to provide temporary accommodation.

Read: Hogan accused of double standards over Lowry meeting>

Read: Priory Hall residents question developer’s ability to afford legal team>

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