Government 'action on mortgage debt' strategy not giving away plans
26 June 2012
Today's government's press conference on its 'Action on Mortgage Debt' did not reveal much detail on its proposed personal insolvency scheme.
Legal rights organisation FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) nonetheless welcomed the fact that the new draft law will be finally unveiled on Friday so that people will have a clearer idea of how Ireland's debt laws are to be transformed.
In the meantime, the four elements that have been previously outlined to address mortgage arrears - new legislation, bank cooperation, consumer information and support, and local authority involvement on housing - were mentioned by both Taoiseach and Tánaiste.
FLAC continues to be concerned that banks will not be legally obliged to enter into balanced and fair arrangements with customers in arrears nor provide a right for a debtor to appeal creditors' decisions to refuse an arrangement.
1. FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) is a human rights organisation which exists to promote equal justice for all. FLAC is an NGO that relies on a combination of statutory funding, contributions from the legal professions and donations from individuals and grant-making foundations to support its work. FLAC offers basic legal information through its telephone information line and free legal advice through its network of 80 volunteer evening advice centres. It also campaigns on a range of issues including personal debt, fairness in social welfare law, public interest law and civil legal aid.
2. FLAC has the following resources available on the issue of mortgage debt:
- FLACsheet on the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears: http://www.flac.ie/publications/mortgage-arrears-flacs-factsheet-on-the-code-of-conduct-on-mortgage-arrears/
- Papers from FLAC conference on personal insolvency (Apr 2012): http://www.flac.ie/getinvolved/campaigns/current/21st-century-law-needed-for-21st-century-overindebtedness/ - a microsite with clips and other materials will shortly be ready.
- Submission on draft Bill on Personal Insolvency(Mar 2012): http://www.flac.ie/publications/draft-personal-insolvency-scheme-2012-submission/
- Presentation to JOC on Justice about Personal Insolvency (Feb 2012): http://www.flac.ie/download/doc/2012_02_15_presentation_to_joc_justice_on_debt_laws.doc
- Joint statement on '9 Principles to overcome personal debt' (Oct 2011) - http://bit.ly/9ondebt