Work starts on mortgage-to-rent scheme as Keane report published

There should be no blanket debt forgiveness scheme for those struggling to pay their mortgages, the now-published Keane report confirms.

The new report dealing with the escalating problem of mortgage arrears has been published by the Department of Finance.

Minister for Housing and Planning Willie Penrose will shortly launch two "mortgage-to rent" schemes.

An estimated 100,000 households are having difficulty paying their mortgages.

Work has already begun to implement key elements of the report, namely a mortgage-to-rent scheme where households in extreme mortgage distress and who are eligible for social housing can stay in their homes as tenants while the lender or a housing association effectively takes control of the house.

However the report found that a blanket debt forgiveness scheme would not be possible and instead recommends a case-by case approach.

The working group on mortgage arrears has set out a range of possible solutions for those struggling with "unsustainable" mortgages, including trade-down mortgages, split mortgages and sale by agreement.

It also recommends that a Mortgage Advice Service be established, possibly linked to the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).

The report also says reform of the bankruptcy and insolvency laws is fundamental.

The Dáil is to hold a two-day debate on the findings of the Keane report.

Speaking in the Dáil today, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Minister for Finance would act quickly in relation to the reports findings.

He said the banks would have to play their part too after the taxpayer had "forked out to recapitalise" them.

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