February 5, 2023

‘They have an agenda’ – Kilkenny TD hits out at sale of mortgages to vulture funds

OUTSPOKEN Kilkenny TD John McGuinness has heavily criticised banks for selling mortgages to vulture funds without giving distressed homeowners any say in the matter.

Deputy McGuinness also hit out at the Government, which he accused of pandering to a European Central Bank agenda in allowing the sale of homeloans to vulture funds.

This week it emerged that State-owned AIB pushed ahead with a €1 billion sale of ‘bad’ loans that controversially includes around 200 family home mortgages as well as thousands of buy-to-lets.

The sale came after European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi recently criticised efforts to protect Irish borrowers in arrears, which he warned could push up mortgage rates for lenders.

However, Deputy McGuinness – who is the Chair of the Oireachtas Finance Committee – accuse the ECB of having an agenda that favours the sale of distressed mortgages to vulture finds.

The Fianna Fáil TD told KilkennyNow.ie: “Europe has an agenda in that they want to put in place the same system we have here, which essentially is that the banks sell to the vulture funds. They believe there is a place in the economy and society for vulture funds. And they maintain that the person’s mortgage that has been sold on is protected, but that’s not true.

“So they’re going to implement the same model of controls that we have here and that’s not going to be good for those that are in mortgage distress.”

Deputy McGuinness also warned selling off distressed loans to vulture funds would exacerbate the housing crisis, which he said is already “out of control”.

The Kilkenny TD added: “Let’s say you have 50,000 repossessions, you have 50,000 distressed mortgages – they’re 50,000 families that have to be accommodated someway, somehow in a housing situation that is completely out of control.

“There is 130,000 currently on the housing waiting list. So Europe doesn’t have all the answers and if they are going to learn anything from Brexit, it is that they should consideration, in a far more constructive way, the plight that individuals are experiencing and that communities in the country are experiencing by the measures of austerity that were applied over the past number of years.”

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