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Government Action on Mortgage Debt

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore today confirmed that the Cabinet has approved the publication of the Personal Insolvency Bill.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, the Taoiseach and Tanaiste announced that the Personal Insolvency Bill would be published this Friday and, as part of the Government’s Action on Mortgage Debt, a series of other measures to assist those in mortgage difficulty had also been agreed.

The Taoiseach said:

“We need to help struggling families who find themselves under unsustainable levels of mortgage debt.  We have to give them some options whereby they can make a fresh start in their lives.

“Fundamental to our strategy is a radical overhaul ofIreland’s regime for personal debt insolvency.  It will provide clarity on the policy framework for bankruptcy and debt settlement.  The new regime will give a greater balance to the rights of the borrower and the lender and incentivise both parties to come to an agreed solution. 

“Later this evening, the Government Economic Management Council will meet with the main banks to brief them on our strategy and to discuss their approach to mortgage arrears.

“The Government is fulfilling its responsibilities to develop new options for people in debt distress.  The banks must show the country that they can help resolve the crisis that is partly of their creation.”

The Tánaiste said:

“The issue of mortgage arrears is one of the most pressing economic, social and human problems facing our people. Behind the statistics are tens of thousands of human stories – of people suffering in many different ways.  From those who are afraid that they may lose their homes, to those who are put to their pin of their collar every month to pay the mortgage. 

“The Government is determined to do everything we can to assist people in distress, and let them get on with their lives. 

“The personal insolvency bill is a mammoth, and ground-breaking piece of legislation, which is bringing about fundamental change in personal insolvency law.  It will reform the existing law on bankruptcy, and also bring in new forms of legal protection for people who are in debt, short of full bankruptcy.” 


Read the Taoiseach's speech in full

Read the Tánaiste's speech in full