Wide range of solutions to mortgage crisis needed, not silver bullet

26 May 2010

Legal rights organisation FLAC today welcomed comments earlier today from Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield that indicated consumer concerns were a priority for the state's regulatory regime.

Speaking to a gathering of the Insurance Institute of Ireland ahead of his office's release tomorrow of what are likely to be worsening mortgage arrears figures, Mr Elderfield said that consumer protection would once again be at heart of the Central Bank's concerns. He maintained that the spirit, not just the letter, of the Code of Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears must be observed.

Welcoming those remarks, FLAC Director General, Noeline Blackwell expressed surprise at the conclusive nature of the Financial Regulator's comments around the work of the government-appointed Mortgage Arrears & Personal Debt Review Group. A group member himself, Mr Elderfield indicated its proposals might be limited in that there would be 'no silver bullet' for the mortgage arrears crisis coming from the Group's work.

According to Ms Blackwell, "It is, admittedly, difficult to find solutions to the complex problem of mortgage arrears. What is needed is a wide range of solutions to these very complex problems."

FLAC is represented on the Review Group by its Senior Policy Advisor, Paul Joyce.



Editors' notes:

  1. FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) is an independent human rights organisation dedicated to the realisation of equal access to justice for all. It campaigns through advocacy, strategic litigation and authoritative analysis to contribute to the eradication of social and economic exclusion.
  2. You can read more about FLAC's work on debt law reform.
  3. FLAC published its short-term proposals around action on mortgage arrears in the latest issue of its newsletter.