- Mortgages Special Courts Bill must be published and enacted immediately -
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Darragh O’Brien has said that urgent action is needed from the Minister for Justice and Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald TD to ensure that Circuit Courts are correctly implementing EU and Irish law with regard to home repossessions.
Deputy O’Brien’s comments follows the suggestion from the Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan that County Registrars ‘should not be dealing with repossession orders’ as they do not have the necessary legal training or the legal discretion to apply EU law.
“The Minister for Justice has a responsibility to ensure that when home repossession cases are being looked at by the courts, that those making the decision have the legal capacity to make such decisions.
“These decisions pose huge distress for the families involved. The Registrar plays a very important role in the process by adjudicating on whether the mortgage contract was fairly applied. Their determination can ultimately decide whether a home can be repossessed or not.
“The Chief Justice must ensure that she has confidence in all decisions being arrived at in the Circuit Courts with regard to the administration of justice and the application of EU laws.
“The 2016 Programme for Government committed to establish a new court which would sensitively handle mortgage arrears and other personal insolvency cases.
“The Mortgages Special Courts Bill was scheduled to undergo pre-legislative scrutiny by November 2016, yet it is now the beginning of 2017 and the bill hasn’t even been published, let alone reviewed by the Oireachtas Committee.
“Any further delays in publishing this Bill are unacceptable. The establishment of a special court to deal with mortgage repossessions must be brought forward and enacted as a matter of urgency to assist those throughout our community in Fingal facing repossession of their home.
“This Government’s is failing to address the rising number of home repossessions in a fair and targeted way. Our party remains committed to finding a solution for distressed homeowners who are facing repossession.”