IMF support for vulnerable homeowners brings a necessary balance: says FLAC

25 June 2010

The legal rights group FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) said today that the recommendation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in relation to vulnerable houseowners was a recognition of the need for balance as Ireland works its way out of the current economic crisis.

"In proposing support for vulnerable homeowners as a priority, the IMF is simply recognising that a serious problem exists and must be addressed in solving the overall economic crisis of the country" according to FLAC spokesperson Noeline Blackwell. She pointed out that the IMF had said this was needed to "limit the economic and social fallout of the crisis".

She said that it was significant that the IMF had also noted the need for reform of Irish bankruptcy laws which the IMF said was "overdue". Ms. Blackwell said that mortgage debt and personal debt were closely linked and the biggest need was for a comprehensive debt settlement system which took a holistic view of the entirety of a person's debts. "FLAC is not alone in pointing out that the bankruptcy and insolvency regime in Ireland is antiquated and hopelessly out of date" she said. "The Law Reform Commission has also identified the need for reform in this area."


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. FLAC issued this press release in response to the report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) dated 31 May 2010 on the conclusion of its annual Mission to Ireland entitled Ireland - Concluding Statement for the 2010 Article IV Consultation.
  3. You can read more about FLAC's work on debt law reform on our campaign page.
  4. FLAC published its short-term proposals for action on debt in the latest issue of its newsletter, FLAC News.
  5. The Law Reform Commission has issued proposals for reform of the law in relation to personal debt including insolvency. The work of the Law Reform Commission can be accessed online in PDF format.