Updated: 08/03/18 : 12:51:44
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Bill to regulate Vulture Funds is top priority for Fianna Fáil – Scanlon

Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says his party is committed to tackling the threat posed by vulture funds buying Irish mortgages.  Fianna Fáil has introduced a new bill to ensure that vulture funds owning Irish home loans are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Speaking in the Dáil this week Deputy Scanlon explained, “There are thousands of people across the country who are very worried that their mortgage could be sold on to an unscrupulous vulture fund, which can then start to squeeze the borrowers for everything they have.  This is not just an issue for mortgage holders – it applied equally to farmers and small business owners who may also see their loans sold on.

“The fact that vulture funds are allowed to operate without any regulation in this country is completely unacceptable – they should be regulated like any other lender in Ireland.  At the moment loan owners who make key decisions like setting the interest rate are doing so beyond the reach of the Central Bank.  This has to change.

“I have been contacted by numerous families who have been treated appallingly by their lenders, and unless this issue is effectively tackled, these sharp practices will continue.  I am dealing with one family who saw their interest rate hiked up to 7.45%.  Over an eight year period, they paid interest of over €107,000 on a €200,000 loan.  This is extremely unfair and has caused untold stress and anxiety for the family involved.

“The case for full regulation of these vulture funds is compelling. Fianna Fáil has come forward with strong, realistic proposals to end the limbo and ensure those who make every effort to pay their mortgage don’t lose out.

“This Bill needs to be passed by the Oireachtas as quickly as possible to ensure that mortgage owners at risk of having their loans sold by PTSB are protected, and that it dissuades future sales of loans by banks to vulture funds.

 “Protecting peoples’ homes, and in particular, the family home is a core priority for my party. As banks and vulture funds want to play ‘pass the parcel’ with mortgages, farm and business loans, it is time the Oireachtas faced up to its responsibilities,” concluded Deputy Scanlon.