Sinn Féin bill aims to protect mortgage holders from vulture funds

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Brian Stanley

Laois Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley spoke in the Dáil on his party's No Consent No Sale Bill

A new bill proposed by Sinn Féin aims to protect mortgage holders from vulture funds.

Speaking in the Dáil on the Sinn Féin No Consent No Sale Bill, Brian Stanley TD explained that the bill means that a mortgage holder cannot have their mortgage sold off by their bank to a vulture fund without their consent.

“We all know what these vulture funds are capable of. I have come across what is happening out there, across my own constituency of Laois and Offaly. Banks selling a mortgage of €150,000 for €50,000 or €60,000 to vulture funds are not being offered to householders. This may be an affordable amount to many in mortgage difficulty to pay,” said Deputy Stanley.

He went on to say that these are the banks the State owns, because it put billions of taxpayers’ money into saving them, and asked what fairness or justice is in this, when the power of the State can save and protect banks and bondholders, but the State cannot act to protect householders.

“This is not radical. What the bill asks is already in a voluntary code of practice from the central bank. Former Minister Noonan said on this that he expected this voluntary code to be applied by all institutions. We are talking about thousands of householders being affected. Last year, State owned Permanent TSB transferred 6,000 mortgage holders to vulture funds. This is just one bank,” said Deputy Stanley.

He said these are a commodity to vulture funds, but are homes to ordinary families who are struggling, and stressed that the State needs to ease the torment and stress of families that are struggling to pay mortgages.

“We need to put in place solutions for people and not for banks, and protect a basic need which is a secure home. We heard all of the bogus reasons from Government as to why this bill cannot be enacted. When it came to bailing out these same banks the Government was able to rush through emergency legislation to crucify this generation of taxpayers and our children,” concluded Deputy Stanley.