Government approves drafting of Courts and Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2018

Discussion in 'Housing and mortgage arrears - policy issues' started by Brendan Burgess, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    This was approve on the 29th May. I had only vaguely been aware of it.

    New legislative provisions will require Courts to have regard to a series of factors in considering an application for a possession order



    The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, TD, has today (Tuesday) secured Government approval for the drafting of the Courts and Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2018 and for the publication of the General Scheme of that Bill.



    The purpose of the Bill is to provide further protections for home owners in mortgage difficulties. The Minister noted that:



    “The Bill has its genesis in the Keeping People in their Homes Bill which was introduced in the Dáil by Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and I want to acknowledge his role in the development of this Bill. A lot of work has taken place to ensure that Minister Moran’s proposals to provide additional protections to those who may be faced with repossession proceedings, can be compatible with the Constitution. I want to thank Minister Moran for working with my officials over the last number of months.”



    The Bill proposes the insertion of a new section in the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013 with the purpose of addressing a situation arising where a borrower is unable to avail of an insolvency remedy under the provisions of the 2013 Act. The proposed section would provide that the court, when considering an application for a possession order in such a case, shall have regard to the following factors:



    • the overall proportionality of the application for a repossession order;

    • the circumstances of those resident in the property;

    • the details of, and responses to, any proposals put forward by either party which would enable the borrower to remain in the property, including participation in a Government scheme for distressed mortgage holders (for example, the Mortgage to Rent Scheme or the Abhaile scheme); and

    • where the mortgagee is not the original mortgagee that granted the loan or mortgage to the mortgagor, the amount paid for the purchase of the loan or mortgage by reference to the amount of debt outstanding in respect of the loan or mortgage.


    Responding to the Cabinet decision, Minister Kevin (Boxer) Moran said: "The proposed Bill reflects the Government's resolve in addressing the issue of mortgage arrears and it now offers the Courts the opportunity to assess possession orders on a proportionality basis as set out in EU law. This legislation is very important to me and I am pleased that Cabinet has approved drafting today. I look forward to seeing this Bill on the statute books as a further protection for those facing repossession orders."



    Minister Flanagan concluded:



    “The Government has consistently stated its view that repossession of family homes should be at all times the very last resort. This new legislation adds to the suite of existing Government initiatives designed to assist people in mortgage distress. These initiatives include the Abhaile scheme which provides free professional legal and financial advice to people in danger of repossession – to date the scheme has provided over 12,200 vouchers for legal and financial advice to over 6,700 home owners in mortgage distress – and the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 which has modernised the regime for personal insolvency and brought Ireland in line with international best practice by providing for a range of debt resolution options within a statutory framework which balances the rights of creditors and debtors. ”



    Ends



    29 May 2018
     
  2. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    It appears from an article in the Sunday Business Post by Hugh O'Connell that the Department of Finance and Central Bank oppose it and it has also been referrred to the ECB.

    A new law to protect homeowners facing repossession has stalled after the Central Bank and Department of Finance said the new measures could threaten the ability of banks to sell off bad loans to private equity firms, including vulture funds.


    The Department of Finance and the Central Bank have said that provisions in the Courts and Land and Conveyancing Amendment Bill could “jeopardise” future loan sales. The bill provides additional protections to mortgage-holders facing repossession in the courts and was agreed by the cabinet last May.

    But The Sunday Business Post can reveal that progress on the legislation has been halted after the Department of Finance and the Central Bank told the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan that it needed to be referred to the European Central Bank. The attorney general subsequently advised Flanagan that it is “obligatory” to refer the bill to the ECB.
     
  3. Sunny

    Sunny Frequent Poster

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    Leaving aside the rights and wrongs, why is it obligatory for legislation proposed by the National Legislative to be referred to the ECB?
     
  4. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    We are part of the eurozone and our banks are supervised by the Single Supervisory Mechanism. Anything which affects them such as the legislation to control mortgage rates must be referred to the ECB for comment.

    Brendan
     
  5. Sunny

    Sunny Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
    Hmmmm. It appears that any legislation or even private members bill that could potentially lead to a charge to the State needs to be sent to the ECB for consultation. I think the AG's language is unfortunate saying that it needs to be referred to the ECB. That is implying that the ECB have some sort of veto over it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  6. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    This is effectively banning repossessions.

    A Judge can now simply say "I have had regard to the circumstances of those resident in the property and am dismissing the application."

    Those resident could well be tenants.

    This is absolute madness.

    The sale to vulture funds is a side issue.

    Brendan
     
  7. Carrot/stick

    Carrot/stick Registered User

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    Would this apply to a landlord seeking possession of his property from a tenant who is refusing to leave?
     
  8. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    That is not its intention.

    Brendan
     
  9. Carrot/stick

    Carrot/stick Registered User

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    I realise that not what its intended for, I am just wondering if it could be used/abused in that situation?
     
  10. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    The General Scheme has not been published yet, never mind the actual Bill itself.

    If it could be used for these purposes, I would imagine that it would be anticipated and amended accordingly.

    However, the world is so mad at the moment, that some will probably campaign to have it amended to stop landlords evicting tenants who don't want to leave.

    Brendan