TD puts forward legislation allowing judges to refuse home repossessions

TD puts forward legislation allowing judges to refuse home repossessions

Stephen Donnelly TD

Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly has put forward a proposal for legislation that would allow a judge to use his discretion when dealing with cases where a lender is looking to repossess a family home.

The independent deputy will submit the Family Protection Bill to the Dáil today, where it will be debated.

The bill would allow for a judge to consider relevant factors such as the background to the loan and any settlement offered by the borrower to the lender.

Mr Donnelly hopes the proposed bill will be an added measure to encourage banks to engage more directly with the new personal insolvency process put forward by the government.

In a statement, Deputy Donnelly  said: “Granting judges this discretion would help adjust the balance of power between the lender and borrower, and would serve society’s interest in encouraging the banks to make realistic write-downs, facilitating families staying in their homes.”

He also pointed out that a number of economists have put their name to a letter in today’s Irish Times which cites the constitution as stating: “that in the ‘control of credit’ the State’s ‘constant and predominant aim’ must be the welfare of the people as a whole.”

Mr Donnelly said he expected his bill to be defeated but looked forward to getting the views of other TDs during today’s debate.

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