Repossessions revisited

02/01/2018

Julie Sadlier writes on developments in Irish repossessions for the November 2017 Gazette.

Are possession orders outdated penalties for home loan defaults? In April 2013, Julie Sadlier wrote an article for the Gazette concluding that home-owner victims of the financial crash should stay in their homes until resolutions to their mortgage arrears were found.

The 2013 situation

At that time, there were few possession proceedings before the courts because the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 was awaiting amendment after Start Mortgages v Gunn. Also at that time, the High Court had given hope in ILP v Duffthat banks could not expect possession orders without complying fully with the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA), which was introduced in response to the bailout of lending institutions. The code included many types of resolution arrangements for banks and customers, depending on their circumstances.

Finding resolution

Since that article, several borrowers in mortgage arrears have found resolutions. Some have been short term, some have been long term, while others have involved write-downs. Julie Sadlier is a solicitor with Kieran Mulcahy Solicitors in Limerick. Writing in the Gazette, she argues that the resolution progress has lacked transparency, and decries a “worrying randomness” about the process. She also asserts that unverified suggestions by banks that strategic defaulters make up a significant number of those in mortgage arrears is contrary to the experience on the ground.

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