Charity concerns as 20,000 home loans up for sale

Charity concerns as 20,000 home loans up for sale

The decision by Irish financial institutions to sell tens of thousands of distressed mortgages this week will “undoubtedly” have an impact on efforts to tackle homelessness, an Irish charity has warned.

After Ulster bank announced it will offload 7,000 distressed loans this morning (Friday 23) in addition to Permanent TSB’s (PTSB) 14,000 revealed earlier this week, the Peter McVerry Trust said the financial entities that buy the loans are more likely to repossess properties.

“Even if these funds do take every appropriate step in line with legislation it would not be a shock to see 10% of these homes repossessed, that’s 2,500 families pushed into the rental sector or the homeless sector and neither sector can cope with that influx,” the charity’s CEO Pat Doyle said in a statement.

The Finance Minister Pascal Donohue said he is not able to delay the sale of PTSB’s loans, which are linked to 18,000 properties which are expected to be worth €3.7 billion.

Mr Donohue is expected to outline his plans for bringing vulture funds under the jurisdiction of the Central Bank next week.

A formal invitation has been sent to PTSB to attend a hearing of the Oireachtas Finance Committee on Tuesday. Committee members are expected to ask about the make-up of the loans, the efforts made to solve the loan issues and the length of time people have been in difficulty.

Mr Doyle said that Government concerns for the financial sector “take precedent” over the needs of the housing and homeless sectors.

“We know that the Government is committed to tackling the housing and homeless crisis and are ramping up spending of capital programmes under Rebuilding Ireland,” he said.

“However, much of the hard work on housing delivery and homelessness could be undone if a situation arises where we see hundreds of families and individuals pushed towards homelessness at this time.”

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