Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Justice Dara Calleary has welcomed changes to the laws on personal insolvency and mortgage debt but said he believes an independent authority should be create to provide binding solutions.
In a statement to the media, Deputy Calleary expressed concern that the proposals do not go far enough and fail to tackle the key issue of banks refusing to act reasonably.
Deputy Calleary commented: “Fianna Fáil has been calling for action on this issue for some time and brought comprehensive legislation before the Dáil in October. The publication is a welcome development, however, the glaring omission in the proposals is the absence of any independent authority to provide binding solutions in situations where a citizen in serious debt is unable to come to agreement with his or her creditors. This must be addressed if the opportunity provided by this new legislation is to be fully embraced.
“Over the past nine months, Fianna Fáil has published a comprehensive package of measures to tackle the growing personal and mortgage debt crisis in this country. This included the proposed establishment of a Debt Settlement and Mortgage Resolution Office – an independent agency with authority to issue binding legal agreements on banks without the need for lengthy court action.
“This should not be a party political issue. I am urging the Government to look again at the Fianna Fáil proposals in this regard. The legislation is ready to go and if the Government is serious about embracing good ideas from the Opposition it will embrace Fianna Fáil’s idea of an independent Debt Settlement Office and by so doing add a great deal to the reform proposals.”