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Shatter said Troika deal will not increase repossessions

The Minister for Justice said the right for banks to repossess a home when a person defaults already exists in mortgage contracts.

File photo of Justice Minsiter Alan Shatter
File photo of Justice Minsiter Alan Shatter
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE Alan Shatter has said the government’s agreement in the latest Troika review to close a loophole preventing banks from repossessing homes will not result in more evictions.

Shatter said all mortgages contain “remedies that may be exercised” by banks if a person defaults on their mortgage and that repossession is therefore an existing contractual right.

“I want to stress that this issue is not about facilitating wide-scale repossessions by banks and other lending institutions,” he said.

He said it is about correcting an unintended consequence of reforming legislation enacted in 2009 that restricts lending institutions in certain cases from asserting their repossession rights.

Shatter stressed that under the Personal Insolvency Bill, once an arrangement is made, a person should not be required to leave their home.

“However, this significant protection is necessarily tempered to take into account that the debtor may not wish to continue to occupy the house or the costs of the debtor continuing to reside therein are disproportionately large,” he said.

“This provision is of particular importance as it can assist those with unsustainable debt and their creditors to conclude realistic and common sense arrangements that can facilitate the debtor continuing to reside in his or her family home,” he added.

Shatter said the government is aware of the real and significant difficulties some mortgage holders are facing and is committed to advancing appropriate measures to assist those mortgage holders who are experiencing real and genuine difficulty.

Related: Government agrees to close loophole preventing banks repossessing homes>

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