Should the taxpayer provide support for struggling borrowers?

Should the taxpayer provide support for struggling borrowers?

Mortgage Arrears: Should the taxpayer provide support for struggling borrowers?“Mortgage arrears may just be the biggest legacy issue from the financial crisis” commented Mr. Elderfield (Head of Financial Regulation at the Central Bank) at a packed gathering in the RDS during the week.

One of the main talking points of the meeting was on how to provide support for struggling borrowers. Fine Gael social and family affairs spokeswoman Olwyn Enright said there was a clear need to help those who genuinely cannot pay their mortgage. Congress president Jack O’Connor added; “It is absolutely inconceivable that we are able to pour billions into the black hole of the Anglo Irish Bank without any prospect of a cent in return, while at the same time ordinary citizens who are doing their best to put a roof over their families are being crucified and left helpless as a result of the activities of speculators and parasites…”

However Mr. Elderfield highlighted that “Taxpayers would have to bear the cost of any support mechanism over arrears… we need to recognise that the cost of any support will be borne by those neighbours who avoided excessive borrowing themselves or are gritting their teeth and meeting their obligations.”

Summary of the numbers;

  • 791,000 private residential mortgage accounts currently open in the state – which are worth a total of €118 billion
  • 3% rise in the number of people in arrears in Q1 2010
  • 32, 321, approx 4% of all mortgages in the state in arrears of more than 90 days
  • €464.5 million the current total of arrears of distressed mortgages in Ireland
  • 456 the stock number of repossessed residential properties at the end of March by mortgage lenders

Have your say: Mortgage Arrears

  • Should the taxpayer provide support for struggling borrowers?
There are 48 comments for this article
  1. Jack at 5:35 pm

    I know people who “can’t pay their mortgage” who have 4 or 5 properties. These same people are saying that I should help them out. Why?
    The only circumstance in which any form of bail-out should be considered would be for people who only have 1 property and have lost their job since taking out their mortgage. In this case, some sort of extended payment holiday might be considered. They should not get a write down or anything like that – after all they choose to pay the price at the time.
    However, I’m sure that even the above scenario would be used and abused by the cute hoors in this country. I know people who officially only have 1 property, their other properties having been changed to their partners or childrens names.

  2. Ronan at 10:09 pm

    Yes, why not – we have already helped out Anglo, AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS, IL&P – NAMA, that’s all comes from Tax that we the everyday people of Ireland work damn hard towards.. We need to stand behind these people who need help (not just mulit millionaires who have houses around the globe) if it’s good enough for the banks who battled each other to lend us money well then its good enough for the ordinary people who need help

  3. Dave at 7:17 pm

    Hi, I broke up with my G/f back in 2006 because she wanted to buy a house and I didn’t. I knew the yellow brick road was due to end at sometime and I didn’t want to be in the whole most people are now.

    Thankfully I broke up with her and she went on to buy anyway. I am now debt free and she has a mortgage that is struggling with.

    I am though now saving to buy a house, but now is even a bit to early. I recon another 6 to 8 months b4 the time is right to buy. Loads of time to save enough to pay more of a deposit.

    I do not feel sorry for people who are in a mess now, you reap what you sow. Its about time people realised how life works.

    I will ensure I buy a house/flat that is close to the city, good transport and has ample business around so that if I was to lose my job – I would have enough scope to target for rental.

    Expect another 15 – 25% drop in house prices before we are in the position to start leveling out.

    Its time to sit still, save and weather the storm.


  4. David at 8:55 am

    If we do not help our own out of debt, are we going to provide social housing? What about those who say NO NO NO, don’t spit in the wind! tomorrow it could be YOU.

  5. LK at 9:22 am

    Madness to bail out because:
    1. artificially supports over-inflated house prices.
    2. transfers risk from banks to taxpayer. banks are in the business of managing risk and include this in their costs.
    3. cute hoors will try to beat the system and deliberatley run into mortgage arrears while diverting funds elsewhere.
    4. we probably want a little retribution for the people who benefitted and fuelled the craziness.

    we do have a social and moral obligation to do something especially for the genuine hard cases. i can only see two routes.
    1. Banks modify payment plans – interest only – extended terms – payment holiday etc.
    2. Hand back the keys and pay arrears from any assets. If this does not cover the outstanding balance declare bankruptcy which remains for 5 years. It might sould harsh but at least it allows genuine cases to write off the debt and start again while it prevents the cute hoors from taking the mickey by diverting funds while deliberately not repaying mortgage.

  6. Peter M at 10:25 am

    A couple of years ago all we could see on this site were comments from people who were full of wind about the property market and investments and how much prices were going up, then talking about soft landings, where have they all disappeared? It’s a bit like the thousands who said after the fact that they fought in the GPO in 1916, now everybody has had a Damascene conversion.

    And then we have a bunch of clowns in Fine Gael who are having a reprise of the same type of guff from not so long ago when they advocated that those who lost out of Eircom shares should be compensated. These are the people who are going to save the country?

    This is a matter for people who took out the mortagages in the first place, and the banks who gave the mortgages to them. Why do we need government intervention? Jack O’Connor is one of the few whingers the government would listen to for years through “partnership”, where did that get us?

    No-one should lose their home. The government should not be asked to intervene, other than to put manners on the banks who are looking for money that isn’t there from people who have no money to pay for their mortgages. The banks should be forced to sit down and agree an APPROPRIATE, reasonable repayment scheme with the mortgage holders. It could involve interest-only for a while, a payment holiday which will have to be paid for in the future with reasonable interest rates, an extended term of loan, or something else of a reasonable nature, plus the ability to revert to normal repayments once the mortgage holders circumstances stabilise. I think MABS should be given some clout and involved statutorily in agreeing a new repayment scheme which should be signed off by both sides. And finally, people who don’t want to repay their mortgages having been offered a reasonable scheme of repayment should be bankrupted and face the consequences.

    I see no point in venting my spleen at people who took out stupid mortgages, and even less point in bailing them out. But the banks caused this with insane lending practices, so they should be forced through someone like MABS after, say, a default of a certain number of months on a mortgage, to stop sending solicitors letters (and charging for them) and agree either no payments or a minimal payment until a new payment scheme is agreed. The stress on families in this situation must be unbelieveable, and they do need help – but no bailouts, please.

    • LK at 8:40 am

      A very emotive discussion point. I would not bail out the struggling borrowers because
      1. It would keep house prices artificially high.
      2. It transfers the risk from Banks to taxpayer. The Banks should be managing their risk – that is the fundamental funtion of banking.
      3. Despite the fact that there are genuine hard cases, cute hoors will take advantage as beating the system (and the taxpayer) for personal gain is in our DNA.
      4. A retun of humility – I think this is reflected in the previous mails whereby it is human nature to see those who greedily overextended be brought down to earth.

      That still leaves us with a social and moral issue. I can only see two ways to resolve.
      1. allow people to retain their homes with modified payment plans – interest only – extended terms – payment holidays etc. Dont write off debt but extend.
      2. allow people to return their homes but recoup any other assets they may have to pay outstanding debt. Otherwise the cute hoors will siphon their money into other areas while deliberately neglecting to repay mortgages on the basis that they can hand the keys back at no cost.
      If there is a shortfall in assets versus liabilities declare personal bankruptcy which is in place for say 5 years.

  7. Rosemary at 8:49 am

    How about some tax relief on interest for a period of years for primary residence. Better than trying to re-house people. Many people in “safe jobs”, now have no job or less income. These people were not risk takers.

    People with second homes and gamblers should not be considered.

    It seems unfair with NAMA these gamblers still have much more than the dole, while we mugs pay for their lifestyle.

  8. Pauline Reid at 11:02 pm

    I don’t think its up the the tax payer who are being crippled because of the Governments/Banks mistakes, but there should be some help given to those genuinely in that situation, they were coaxed and goaded into buying beyond their means mainly by the banks, I was nearly tempted myself and as a single/divorced working parent of 3 was terrified of increasing my mortgage payments, they should be able to throw that key back to the bank and not owe them money, let the banks take the loss and not the genuine borrowers, ok 100% mortgage borrowers were silly but many people on an average 80%/90% still suffering – pass that pain on to the banks, why cushion them throughout, – they created the scenario not the unfortunate borrowers, makes my blood boil that they can sail off into the sunset scot free of any blame GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

  9. TC at 6:01 pm

    No, No, No, absolutely not.
    Mac Dara said in a long winded earlier post that “Some people posting here should reflect on the wider societal issues at stake here rather than just engage in petty penny pinching”.
    I say people have reflected and are entitled to their opinion. They don’t need to be lectured on morality. ANGLO should not have been bailed out and equally householders debt should not be bailed out by citizens. Now there are also rumblings about people not being able to clear off credit card debts. Yippee, lets pay off this debt also. It’s as simple as thsi if you owe a financial debt then pay it off.

  10. Simon Reilly at 9:08 am

    No, the Tax-Payer should not have to bail out mortgaga holders. No body put a gun to peoples heads a few years ago and forced them to queue up and buy over-priced houses. The people I blame are the Media, especially the Irish Independent and the Irish Times who encouraged young people to, at all costs, to get on the property ladder. Remember the glossy property supplements a few years ago, advertising and grossly over-praising various property developments around the country, especially in Kildare, Meath and Dublin. Thank God I was’nt taken in by it. I wonder how much money was paid by developers to newspapers and journalists to “con” young people to buy their grossly overpriced apartments and houses. The golden rule is never buy any property in a rush or because some newspaper reccomends it. They have their own Agenda. I bought 2 old cottages over the past 10 years and renovated them. In neither case did I pay the asking price. I made an offer based on a good friend’s (a carpenter) and waited. In one case a year and in the other 10 months. But in both cases I purchased at my price. I sold one at a handsome profit and am currently living in the other. Caution, Caution, Caution !

  11. Aishling at 7:20 am

    I am very shocked at some peoples comments, they are a bit on the harsh side and name calling is not needed, Stupied, Losers, greedy ect. People jumped at the chance to own a property in a time where it was hard for most to get on the property ladder, most being adviced to do so by the banks offering it to them, Yes things have taken a down turn but its all relavent at the time!!

    In answer to the question, no taxpayers should not be bailing out homeowners, I believe in paying it forward, the taxpayers had no choice in bailing out the banks who in turn should be forced to take a different approch to homeowners, not just taking someons home, but to extend the normal time someone has to get back ontop of things, looking at lowering re-payments for a period of time so the homeowner can catch up thus extending the years the mortgage has been taken out for. Dont forget after all, alot of these people in trouble are TAXPAYERS and have bailed out the banks….

  12. John at 8:24 pm

    Maybe I’m being naive here but can’t we just force the banks to allow people to pause their mortgages while they are in financial stife/out of work etc… (they would need to prove this). Once they are back on their feet they can resume their mortgage payments. They get to keep their house and the bank gets to keep it’s profits.

  13. Kevin at 8:00 pm


    But if you want a NAMA for the people change the law so that people can walk away without still owing the debt or having a negative rating for it. If the banks are going to be stuck with yet another property for NAMA, they will either come to a decent agreement or they get the house. The punter now has either less debt or no debt (and no house). But they won’t be in negative equity and they’ll be able to rent/buy one of the numerous other properties currently on the market.

    It might be a loss to the bank, but no more so than the developers.

  14. Mac Dara at 7:36 pm

    Reading people’s comments on and listening to people debate this issue have left me for the first, and I hope only time in my life, embarrassed to be Irish. Why such vitriol? Why the hatred?

    Why should I pay someone else’s mortgage? Well, you actually are via the bank bailout – maybe not directly, but follow the trail of dominos and sorry guys and girls, but you already are through increased taxes, rates, water charges etc. This is all funding NAMA. Lisa Lawless asked above why she should be supporting other people’s lifestyles – well, Lisa, you already are. And those of you who say I didn’t buy the fancy house or the flash car, yes, there were a few idiots, but to tar everyone who bought in the last 10 years as being flash, foolish and running away with themselves is equally stupid. I would imagine that the majority of people who bought a property and are in trouble now are ordinary people who didn’t lose the run of themselves but through changing economic circumstances find themselves in a bad place right now.

    Whilst I have little sympathy for those who borrowed recklessly or over-borrowed, I have huge sympathy for couples and families who bought at the peak, are now are struggling and unfortunately resigned to living in what was originally supposed to be a starter home for the rest of their lives. Let’s not forget how we were told by our politicians and bankers alike that this would never end. Many people bought out of fear (perpetrated and fueled by stakeholders and allowed to thrive unchecked by Govt.) that if they didn’t buy then, they’d never be able to buy and settle down. I have no time for those who bought second-homes, third cars(!) and upgraded everything every year, but for God’s sake, can you not see how much your friends, colleagues or even relatives are suffering through this? I’ve seen it, and it’s not a pretty sight.

    Some of the postings here are shocking. Not everyone was lucky (and I choose that word every carefully) enough to be in a position to buy at a more advantageous (cheaper) time, get a deposit from their family or be in a job that paid well enough to be able to save and rent simultaneously.

    I could easily adopt a screw everybody else attitude as I have just 6 years left on my mortgage, but I think we’ve lost a little bit of citizenship, camaraderie and compassion with our fellow Irishmen and women on this issue. I’m not smug enough to say “screw you” as a lot of people seem to be saying here as I know at any stage I could be next. I could lose my job, my company could lay my friends and colleagues off, I could become unable to work in the morning. Why are we happy to bail out banks and developers, yet helping our fellow citizens is beneath so many of us? Why are we not demonstrating on the streets?

    Have any of you who voted Fianna Fail or Green in the last election written to your local TD and voiced your concerns and disapproval of NAMA? I’d say the majority of you haven’t done a thing as “it’s not my problem”. Well, imagine your son or daughter in this situation. Imagine your colleagues in this situation. Imagine your friends in this situation. Imagine yourself in this situation. It’s not nice, is it?

    Why couldn’t our nation’s finest minds (ok, I am being sarcastic here) find a solution that shored up the banks but offered a similar level of protection to mortgage holders? It’s not that difficult – had the state guaranteed mortgage policies, the banks would equally have been secure and the consumer would have had money to spend thus ensuring a swifter rise from the recession. Oh, but we can’t do that as debt is debt. Well, not if you’re an Irish bank clearly. Oh, but the effect on the economy! Well, look at the effect the bailout is having – would supporting OUR OWN (and not German and US Hedge Funds) have been an worse than this?

    What about market forces? Why were the banks protected and consumers aren’t? This can’t be justified no matter how you look at it.

    Some people posting here should reflect on the wider societal issues at stake here rather than just engage in petty penny pinching. Some (and I stress some, NOT ALL) people are right to ask “what about my NAMA”? I hope you don’t have to.

  15. Pat Spillane at 7:19 pm

    If the government is forcing the taxpayer (us) to support ailing Property developers and ailing Banks – then YES of course they must devise a support system for mortgage holders who have lost their jobs – and for those low paid public servants who had their wages slashed.
    If the banks/developers were left to fend for themselves then maybe you could argue that the mortgage holders should lose their homes – but that is not what this government !! did.

  16. Jessy at 6:15 pm

    In 2005 my husband and I bought a house for €220K, I was earning €39.5K and he €32k, we borrowed €200K – not mad numbers at all. I’m now sick and unable to work and my husband has had a 25% paycut. We are struggling. Do I want a bank bailout because we are in arrears? NO I DONT. What happened to us is simply fate, bad luck, whatever you want to call it but I dont want any body else to pay for our misfortune. Our mortgage is our responsibility, we signed the dotted line.

  17. Roisin at 6:05 pm

    I don’t see why I should have to contribute to buying private property in the form of a house for someone when I cannot afford to do the same for myself.

  18. tom at 4:46 pm

    The taxpayers have already bailed out the Banks and now its time the Banks did something.

    Negative equity has brought about reduced property value which may never return to the high.
    I suggest Banks should reduce Mortgages by the same amount after all the Banks got us into this mess, lets go back to a new begining and give people a fair chance.

  19. Stephen Kelly at 4:39 pm

    Just as long as I get a few months to buy a (still overpriced) luxury property with a massive mortgage and fall in arrears (the negative equity part will take care of itself as soon as I agree the price).
    I won’t worry about my future because I know nothing about financial risk, ROI calculations, sound investment options, stock markets, pensions, etc. so I’ll be applying for a senior position in one of our solid, esteemed financial institutions such as the BOI, AIB, Permanent TSB … or maybe Anglo Irish – I’m a shoe in because I drink in the same pub as a few Fianna Fail backbenchers.

    Seriously. What should happen is
    1. when the (extended) bank guarantee scheme runs out in September it should only be renewed on deposits
    2. the bankruptcy laws should be changed to all people to hand over their houses as the security and become bankrupt for a limited period only

    Bailing out mortgage holders would be ANOTHER HUGE MISTAKE to compound the litany of errors this government has already made.

  20. murt o brien at 2:34 pm

    why do the banks not show the same compassion that was shown to them!!!

  21. Gwen at 2:09 pm

    No, I absolutely dont think so we should bail people out.
    When I bought my house in 2006 which I had I previously joint owned, The mortgage broker tried to encourage me to not only buy this house out and to then it let out and then get another mortgage for 2nd house based on the equity i had in the first house. This sent alarm bells ringing left right and centre!! I am single, was on a good salary at the time (altough taken a big pay cut now) but this seemed absolute maddness. I said no and bought my sister out of the house. Its negative equity and i have taken a huge paycut but the rates have dropped, so i am okay. I didnt top up my mortgage and drive a 12 year old car. but at the end of the day, i dont have money worries! and im not paying for someone who were greedy and wanted to have the fancy house and flash car.
    If you take the gamble, be prepared to lose.

  22. Colm at 1:35 pm

    They shouldn’t be bailed out with money but they should be protected in other ways.

    – The banks should be capped on the interest rate they can charge, say 2% above ECB. Banks who got money from the taxpayer or took part in NAMA should have to operate on a not-for-profit basis for 5 years.

    – The bankruprucy laws should be changed to allow someone in genuine difficulty to hand the asset back to the bank without being a marked person for the rest of their lives (the security was on the bricks and mortar not the person’s soul). Financial history should be wiped after 5 years.

    – Empty ghost estates should be knocked or converted to council housing so that they don’t continue to depress the market.

    – Unfinished estates with some people living in them should be finished to habitable levels to they don’t continue to depress the value of the houses in the estate. To fund this a Developer Assets Bureau (similar to CAB) should be set up to pursue the assets of developers who violated planning permission and left estates unfinished. Dangle a criminal conviction and seisure of assets over their heads and you’ll find the majority of “broke” developers will suddenly find the money to finish the estates.

    – Debt for equity solutions and multigenerational loans should be considered but care must be taken to make sure we are not creating a new form of slavery where someone unborn today will find themselves in effective servitute to a bank.

  23. Pat Joyce at 1:31 pm

    Absolutely! The second the abysmal government we have stumped up billions of euros of taxpayers cash into failed banks they were morally obliged to assist the taxpayers. On what planet is it acceptable to bail out the corrupt financial institutions with tax payers money but throw the 2 fingers up at the tax payers? The crooks who created this mess are still lolling about in their own personal wealth laughing at the ineptitude of the government who seem unable to make them pay for what they did. While this is happening the decent law abiding citizens are struggling to cope.

    While I buy the argument that nobody forced anyone to buy anything I reject it wholly the instant that my tax euros are being used to prop up failed institutions still being run by the crooks who instrumented their failure in the 1st place. It’s an out and out disgrace.

    So, jail the crooks, seize their assets, close down the corrupt organisations, sue anyone who contributed to the farce and use any gains to help out the truly deserving.

  24. Lynne Kavanagh at 1:06 pm

    NO – But as per bloody usual we’re going to be crippled with another tax to help this situation – why can’t the government look at other countries to see how they’ve managed without royaly messing things up like the government has?.

    The amount of houses lying idle is a sin…

    Look at the bankers in America they were put on trial , it’s all about the backhanders and brown envelopes here… I’m definitely in the wrong job.

  25. Gavin at 12:19 pm

    Everyone should be given a one time payment of €1,000,000 from the state.

    Those that have mortgages could then easily afford their repayments. Those that don’t would be free to buy that second boat, diamond encrusted dog collars, Aqua Libra and other necessary items.

    We could extend this offer to other countries too‽

  26. Jim at 12:19 pm

    This question sounds like it’s comimg from a democrat.
    Absolutely “NO WAY” should tax payers pay for arrearages on homes. They already have – to those banks who hoarded billions of dollars. Getting rid of a big, costly, unneeded portions of government should reduce taxes (one would think – but unlikely). Getting rid of the illegals would greatly reduce costs. This should allow for cash flow for homeowners to get out of trouble. There’s way too many funky things going on with government !!! CUT GOVERNMENT!!!!

  27. Maxster at 12:12 pm

    State should support people month-by-month in mortgage arrears, for the period they are in arrears, under the following conditions;
    Primary Residence, unemployed with 1 interview per month, where bank is charging exorpetent rates, death/invalidity of spouce/income earner.

    Can’t exploit people for wanting a home and thats what the banks and gov did through interest rates and tax. In all the housing boom, the homeowner (not house owner) is the only one not in it for a profit. State must protect home owners in exceptional circumstance – and must do it quickly. For example childrens referrendum is waiting 18 years!!!

  28. Zoe Fitz at 12:11 pm

    Yes, though it must be screened very carefully and make sure it is NOT a bail-out.
    The contracts must ensure that all assistance must be repaid in full and with a low interest rate to the Irish taxpayer/ Irish economy so that the taxpayer and country gets some benefit of this assistance in the longterm.

  29. D at 12:08 pm

    My Answer to this is that Question itself is stupid enough, Banks are being bailed out already using Taxpayer Money, Government should introduce more tough measures for banks rather then even thinking about hammering the tax payer anmore.

  30. Ben at 12:05 pm

    No.. I don’t get refunded on my bad investments.. Reposses the lot of them, flood the Market let prices tumble 70% from top… Now we have a reasonably valued Market. Cut minimum wages, and let’s attract some fdi, and let’s get exports going… Let’s do what we don best.

  31. Ben at 12:03 pm

    No.. I don’t get refunded on my bad investments.. Reposses the lot of them, flood the Market let prices tumble 70% from top… Now we have a good indervalued Market.

  32. BJ at 12:03 pm

    Why should I now have to pay to bail out all the people who bought into the madness…thus keeping me and my family out of the housing market in the process by ramping up the house prices during the ‘boom’ years? I didn’t buy in because even I could see it was an accident waiting to happen. And yet I know of many people who bought 2 or even 3 houses helping to inflate the bubble. I say let the market find its own way…then maybe now, years later, I might finally get my chance to get MY HOME

  33. johnnyblogs at 11:57 am

    James, you’re clearly not allowed use the word ‘b**tard’ on this blog and especially regarding the rich or privileged! I used it in this manner and my comment was promptly removed. (It was either for this or raising the contentious issue of how foreign nationals and Irish wasters get everything for free, yet people who worked hard are left with nothing and no assistance). You see, this epitomises our country with accuracy – we tippy-toe around matters of a serious nature and continuously fail to speak our minds. This is why we have a country of underhand, corrupt, insincere hypocrites. So the same way that you have removed my comment, I will now remove your presence as a regular mailer to my inbox, and let me make one thing clear: Do not send me mail that directs me to your comments that raise contentious issue, if you cannot handle contentious responses. I suggest you stick your blog where the sun doesn’t shine, if you can’t tolerate fact.

    • Chris at 4:05 pm

      Funny that I haven’t seen a comment to date about an idea that was worked up in Europe. I voted no in the Lisbon Treaty but the only sence I’ve seen so far on this issue has actually been from Brussels. They stated two days ago that they want all national parliaments to introduce a levy on banks so that if this ever happens again, the money gained through levies will bail the banks out. Are we as a people that stupid to see that not bailing out people in debt, whether they took out 110% mortgages or 90% mortgages, is going to cost the tax payer anyway in social welfare housing and further amounts of our money to the banks to prop up what they’ve lost on selling a repossessed house at reduced value vs the total outstanding on a mortgage!!

      First you must start at the top. Politicians could do with a severe pay cut just for the hell of it and as a way of saving public money that’s going to refinance the banks anyway. Bankers should have to take huge wage and pension cuts to pay for the levies that could save the banks from their reckless lending in future and to retain a family in their homes so that the lifetime of the mortgage can be extended or longer duration moratoriums granted to ensure the person is actually trying to get out of debt and not wasting everyones money and the bank will eventually gain the FULL value of the mortgage rather than a repossession value. Doing it this way will not require public money to keep people in their homes but it will also ensure that the banks will get ALL of the money that was lent in the first place over a longer period and will stabilise their books so that they won’t be writing off hundereds of thousands of euro’s in repo sales and asking us for another lend!

      Don’t begrudge a person for wanting to keep a roof over their heads but put pressure on those that caused the problem instead!

  34. Billy Bruce at 11:52 am

    Why should I pay someone else’s mortgage. I have a mortgage of my own. I bought well within my means. I have taken vast reductions in my take home pay to pay for financial institutions who mismanaged there businesses. Why should I now have to subsidise people who lived well beyond their means!! And as for the repeated comment that it was the bank who lent out the money:- the old saying about taking a horse to water comes to mind.

  35. Damien at 11:51 am

    Simply put No, if you took out a mortgage that was beyond your means then it is your fault…. A contract is a contract… the moratorium should be lifted and the banks should seize the assets.

    I would qualify that by saying that we should have better bankruptcy legislation in place first though.

    Also I heard a figure mentioned on Prime Time that the government had pulled 70 million in tax from the second home property tax.. was that tax not 200 euro per year, that would mean roughly that 350,000 residential properties are second homes how many of them are in the 791,000 mortgages and how many are in arrears, before we even consider pouring taxpayer money into another black hole, we need greater transparency in our numbers…

    Lets be honest do you really trust the Dept. of Finance or the Government to avoid wastage, look what they have done to the public finances to date…

    I could ramble on but I have to stop and work some more I think I retire at 68 now, so what is the point of a pension, I will probably be dead by then….

  36. Simon at 11:44 am

    This is a really difficult one, and an issue that is pock marked by mis-information and greed. It really needs to be broken down into points:

    1. Should people who greedily topped up their mortgages time and time again be assisted? I would say no – they took a risk by borrowing more instead of letting the mortgage run down.

    2. Should a person who got a 100% or worse a 110% mortgage be assisted – tougher call this one. House prices went so high that in many areas it was very difficult to get together the 8-10% required for a normal mortgage, however they should have been able to get something together. But they did borrow the entire amount and knew the risk going in, no matter what they say.

    3. Should a person who borrowed 90-92% mortgage (the norm) be punished because house prices fell away? Some people may say “I didn’t buy a house that was too expensive, so why should they be helped an not me”, simple fact is that neither did these guys, they were paying the going rate, the rate many of the complainers SOLD AT! If this crash had happened in 1999, or 1989 you would be in the same boat as them and would be asking the same questions they are asking.

  37. Rob at 11:40 am

    When I bought in 2002 I looked coldly at the market and my view was that while I could have borrowed another 75% of my mortgage, I felt this was reckless and over-paying for property. I stuck to the lower end of tghe market and looking again coldly at the current situation, I think I have been justified.

    People made choices and the consequences are now lain to see. There were no guns put to peoples heads; they didn’t have to lie on their applications or pressure their parents for early inheritance – they chose to pay big sums. They need to be clever now and work a solution rather than expecting hand-outs.

    As for supporting the banks; the amounts in these banks as deposits, pensions, investments far out-weighs the arrears problem. There is a hell of a lot more at stake with the banks.

  38. Lisa Lawless at 11:38 am

    Absolutely not!! My husband and I work damn hard to pay our own mortgage, why should we also have to subsidise others. We used our common sense when getting our mortgage, didn’t get over our heads and made modest lifestyle choices. Why should we now be made to suffer other peoples consequences??

  39. Denise at 11:36 am


    Why the hell would we?

    I think its an absolute disgrace that this is even being discussed!

    Why would those who were not stupid enough to get sucked into the housing market pay for those who did? Some people went absolutely over the top borrowing 110% mortgages, up to 15 times their incomes just to get on the “property ladder”. Now I understand that there was alot of bad advice given and I know there are some very genuine cases e.g. where both people lost their jobs and I do genuinely pity these people. But at the end of the day there was no need for what went on.
    I do not feel that I should have to pay for other people mistakes. I am already struggling as it is and I would begrudge paying other people out of their mess.

    Thankfully I do not think it will happen anyway.

  40. Annmarie at 11:35 am

    NO NO NO NO !!!
    The taxpayer seems to pay for everything in this country !! Friends of mine got 100% mortgages and bought new cars all in the same year RIDICULOUS !!

  41. susan at 11:32 am

    yes, why not, id rather support my fellow citizens than the bank/developer/click..

  42. Karen at 11:30 am

    No I don’t think that the taxpayers should have to pay for anyone who is in arrears. The banks are making thousands upon thousands of interest a year on every person that has a mortgage with them. The banks were all bailed out and now the banks should cop on and give people a break. Yes people went for 100% mortgages but these people were granted 100% mortgages. It is in everyones interest (including the banks) to keep people in their households, so the banks need to really cop on to the situation and stop with this hard luck attitude.

  43. James at 11:04 am

    No! No! No!

    No-one was forced to buy a house (there were always plenty of houses available to rent) or to take out a 100% mortgage, or to somehow also include two new cars, a garden landscape and a honeymoon in the deal. I understand this is not the situation of all people now in trouble, but in life you pays your money and you takes your chances. Perhaps the banks could sell a mortgage with “whinging looser insurance” built into the monthly payments. Of course this would cost more, but now poor losers would be protected just like Séan Fitz and all the other rich b**tards.

    • laura crowley at 3:14 pm

      i dont think the taxpayer should be forced to help them borrowers. i am one of them borrowers who is desperately struggling to pay my mortgage but i dont expect the irish taxpayers to help me out but i do expect the government to. my husband is out of work and im 6 months pregnant. we cant even afford to buy a pram or cot so its looking like we are going to have to hand back our house as the government will not give us any help at all (mortgage interest supplement) as i earn 400 euro a week working as a care assistant for the hse. id rather have my child fed and cared for rather than have this house! god damn the government. i hope they are happy living in their nice big houses, driving their nice flash cars and enjoy their big pensions while my child has no buggy, no cot, and i wonder how i will feed my baby when it arrives.

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