Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has called on retail banks and the Central Bank to ensure a clear pathway for mortgage prisoners whose loans are held by vulture funds to be reintegrated to the mainstream mortgage market.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“There are tens of thousands of borrowers whose loans were sold by retail banks without their consent.
“These sales were opposed by Sinn Féin but supported and facilitated by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
“Many of these households are now facing interest rates as high as 8 percent, with many seeing their mortgage repayments rise by thousands of euros this year.
“Today the Finance Committee heard from two borrowers whose mortgage loans were sold to Pepper, with their interest rates now between 7 and 8 percent.
“They eloquently described the difficult position they and their families now find themselves in.
“Their lived reality is in stark contrast to the Taoiseach’s false promise that they would be no worse off with vulture funds than with the banks that held their mortgage loans.
“These households need support, and they need it now.
“Sinn Féin has proposed temporary and targeted mortgage interest relief to support households struggling with spiralling mortgage costs.
“But it is clear that the retail banks and Central Bank must act to free households from the clutches of vulture funds.
“Banks should never have sold these mortgage loans.
“They have a moral responsibility to purchase these mortgage loans and provide a clear pathway for these borrowers to re-enter the mainstream mortgage market.
“These borrowers have no option to fix, and many are currently paying higher mortgage repayments than they would were they with retail banks.
“These borrowers must be facilitated to switch.
“I have written to the retail banks and the Central Bank calling for a clear pathway to be provided to allow this to happen.
“This will require a coordinated approach between the banks, MABS and the Central Bank.
“It will also require a clear requirement for vulture funds to facilitate mortgage holders to switch to mainstream mortgage lenders.
“It is time to fix this wrong and support households struggling under spiralling mortgage interest rates.”