Govt in talks to take action on mortgage crisis

Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan

The Government and The Central Bank are discussing plans to force banks to tackle the mortgage arrears crisis.

The Irish Times reports that the proposals would see the banks forced to quickly take losses on loans in arrears - before entering a "split-mortgage" agreement.

That would see clients keep responsibility for the portion of the loan they can repay - with the segment they can't pay "warehoused" to be repaid at a later date.

Earlier this week, Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan criticised the banks for not addressing the issue properly.

UPDATE 1pm: Meanwhile Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said that it is time for the government to get tougher on banks to ease the mortgage crisis.

He told reporters in Dublin this afternoon that his party’s motion to the Dáil next week will address the issue of mortgage distress and the growing shortage of social housing.

“While more and more people are living under extreme stress because of their mortgage arrears, it beggars belief that the Government is still kow-towing to the banks and not stepping in to oblige them to take action on relieving mortgage distress," Mr Adams said.

“Figures show that a further 115 families a day are falling into distress every day and that a quarter of those with domestic mortgages are in trouble.

“There is a stark contrast between the way the government deals with bankers who owe billions and the 180,000 people who are in danger of losing the roof over their heads, who are getting no bailout."

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