This week Cllr. O’Rourke expressed deep concern for those with mortgages from sub-prime lenders and who are struggling to make their repayments“Thousands of individuals, couples and families are struggling to meet their original mortgage commitments due to salary cuts, increased taxes, loss of income etc. On the whole banks are trying to work with mortgage holders, giving them more time to make their repayments. However, outside of the mainstream banking world lies the sub-prime lenders and they are a different breed altogether.
Over the past 12 months I have been in contact with a number of couples who have sub-prime mortgages and they are in absolute despair. These lenders are very aggressive, insensitive and inflexible in their dealings with clients. They chase debts sometimes on a daily basis by phone and letter, even though they know the client in question has no way of paying. They do so in a very aggressive and often threatening manner.
These lenders seem to try and grind people down physiologically until they break so they hand the keys back. The lender then sells the house at a fire sale price but continues to chase the mortgage holder for the balance. They are charging punitive interest rates of between 7% and 9% and aggressively chasing debts they know people can never pay. Something must be done to protect these people from this unacceptable and menacing behavior”.
Cllr. O’Rourke continued, there is obviously no market for sub-prime lenders in this country any more, so their clear objective is to realise as much cash as possible from their loan book and exit Ireland as quickly as possible. This is fine and good riddance to them but it’s the trauma they leave behind through their strategy of harassment and eviction that will be with people for a very long time to come. The Government must intervene to prevent any further repossessions taking place until a proper solution is found. David Hall of New Beginning has done great work in supporting those facing these impossible situations and his organisation should be given more face time with government.”