Oireachtas committee report on lenders' handling of mortgage arrears is challenge for Finance Minister

8 July 2014

Apr 2014 - Paul Joyce JOC Finance
Paul Joyce presenting to JOC Finance Committee re mortgage arrears, 2 April 2014

Legal rights group FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) today welcomed a comprehensive report from an Oireachtas committee tasked with reviewing the way banks in Ireland handle customers in arrears on their mortgages, saying it could spark the badly-needed rebalancing of the power relationship between lenders and ordinary people in mortgage arrears if government were to act on it.

 The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform today issued its report on Hearings on Matters relating to Mortgage Arrears Resolution Processes. FLAC Director General Noeline Blackwell said the Committee clearly recognised the scale and severity of the issues facing people in mortgage arrears, making some 47 proposals and covering such issues as greater transparency and openness for lenders in their dealings with people in arrears and the need for a legally enforceable Code of Conduct that people could really rely on.

 “The challenge now is for the Minister for Finance to take on board these recommendations or say why they should not be implemented,” said Ms Blackwell.

 She said FLAC recognised and appreciated the huge efforts that Committee Chairperson Ciaran Lynch TD and the other members of the body had put into drawing up the report. The committee had added immensely to the debate by consulting so widely and enquiring so thoroughly on this pressing issue.


 Notes for editors:

  1.  A press release on the report with a link to the full report is at
  2. You can read FLAC’s presentation to the Committee at
  3. FLAC’s Guide to Moving out of Mortgage Arrears and Personal Debt is at
  4. A summary of recommendations from FLAC's submission on the review of the Code of Coduct on Mortgage Arrears, April 2013  is at