Banking lobbyists have called for the introduction of new legislation to ease the plight of separated borrowers who are in mortgage arrears.
Calls for new legislation to help separated borrowers in mortgage arrears

Calls for new legislation to help separated borrowers in mortgage arrears

Calls for new legislation to help separated borrowers in mortgage arrears

Calls for new legislation to help separated borrowers in mortgage arrears

Calls for new legislation to help separated borrowers in mortgage arrears

Calls for new legislation to help separated borrowers in mortgage arrears
Calls for new legislation to help separated borrowers in mortgage arrears
  • 2020-01-14 16:30:15 1 months ago
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Banking lobbyists have called for the introduction of new legislation to ease the plight of separated borrowers who are in mortgage arrears.

It is estimated that one-in-ten cases of mortgage arrears involves borrowers who have separated.

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), a lobby group which represents the banking, payments and fintech sector, is calling for consideration to be given to new legislation which would better enable lenders to deal with separated borrowers who are in arrears.

The call comes in the wake of BPFI analysis which showed that lenders have to adopt a case-by-case approach because of the commercial, legal and other complexities involved.

A potential solution tabled by the lobby group is to treat each party as a single borrower with repayment capacity calculated on an individual basis, but with both borrowers remaining liable for the outstanding debt.

An alternative is to offer certain short-term alternative repayment arrangements in cases where just one party is engaging or other long-term options where both parties agree.

BPFI believes that consideration should be given by regulators and legislators to introducing new measures which could greatly help the plight of separated borrowers with mortgage arrears. These could include one or more of the following:

  • Regulation – the possibility of new regulatory provision to facilitate the engaging party and the non-cooperating party to find a workable solution;
  • Insolvency Legislation –the possibility of legislative change which would allow a lender to pursue a co-debtor who, unlike the other party in an insolvency arrangement, has not been cooperating and is not a party to the arrangement;
  • Court-approved agreements – the possibility of court-approved agreements to be put in place that may override the scope currently afforded to the non-cooperating borrower to veto an agreement;
  • Mediation – the possibility of amending the provisions of the Mediation Act 2017 to oblige solicitors in family law cases to also include the issue of the mortgage as part of the mediation stage in a separation.

Speaking on the complexity of the matter Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive, said: "Lenders are doing all they can to accommodate mortgage arrears cases involving separated borrowers but there is only so much they can do on their own given the complexities involved."

BPFI has written to the Central Bank, the Insolvency Service, the Department of Finance, the Department of Justice and Equality, and MABS to seek support for introducing the changes.

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Calls for new legislation to help separated borrowers in mortgage arrears

Flight with rudder issue diverts to Shannon as it was unable to land in Heathrow

Flight with rudder issue diverts to Shannon as it was unable to land in Heathrow

A transatlantic flight as forced to divert to Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew reported a technical issue that would prevent them from landing at their destination.

British Airways flight BA-274 left Las Vegas in the US at 4.40am Irish time and was due to land at London’s Heathrow Airport at 2.55pm.

At around 12.30 pm however, while the flight was still west of Ireland, the flight crew of the Boeing 747-400 jet contacted to advise them of an issue.

The pilots confirmed they had a ‘slight technical problem’ that would affect their crosswind landing capability at Heathrow and therefore they would be unable to land there.

It is understood the flight crew reported a possible problem with the jet’s rudder which would have impacted their crosswind landing capability in London where the effects of Storm Brendan were still being felt.

The crew opted to divert and land Shannon as a precaution and have the issue investigated.

A replacement aircraft was flown in to take the passengers onto Heathrow. The flight was also carrying company engineers who were flown in to investigate the problem. The flight landed without issue at 1.21pm.

The flight crew did not declare an emergency and confirmed to controllers that they would not require emergency services to be standing by for they as they expected to make a ‘normal landing.’

A British Airways spokesperson confirmed: “The aircraft diverted to Shannon as a precaution after a minor technical issue. We have sent a replacement aircraft to fly our customers back to Heathrow as soon as possible.

“We have apologised to our customers for the delay to their journey. The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority.”

The incident jet was expected to remain grounded at Shannon until the issue could be resolved.

One in every 15 cars submitted for NCT in 2019 found to be dangerously defective

One in every 15 cars submitted for NCT in 2019 found to be dangerously defective

One in every 15 cars submitted for the National Car Test last year were found to be dangerously defective and unsafe to be driven on public roads.

Figures published by the Road Safety Authority show over 92,000 vehicles examined at a NCT test centre during 2019 were found to be in an unroadworthy condition.

A total of 92,523 cars were classified as “fail dangerous”.

They represent 6.6% of almost 1.4 million cars tested at 47 NCT centres nationwide last year.

Although the vast majority subsequently obtained a NCT, a total of 2,791 vehicles were still found to be dangerously defective following a re-test.

According to the RSA, tyres in poor condition and problems with brakes are the main reason why cars are deemed dangerous to drive on public roads.

A RSA spokesperson said the large number of cars being classified as “fail dangerous” was not surprising.

As a result of the implementation of an EU directive on roadworthiness tests on motor vehicles since 2018, all defects are now classified as either minor, major or dangerous.

“Many motorists are still unaware about the change in classification and there is a need to educate car owners that there are some problems which will have their vehicle deemed unsafe to drive on public roads and that they need to take the issue seriously,” the spokesperson said.

A recent survey by the RSA indicated that 40% of all car owners used the NCT as a diagnostic tool for problems with their vehicles which the RSA claims explains the higher failure rate for the initial test.

“People need to stop using the NCT to identify problems with their car. They should be getting it serviced regularly by a mechanic as it is a much more detailed examination. The NCT can never be a substitute for a full service,” said the RSA spokesperson.

Neither the RSA nor Applus, the operator of the NCT, collect information on the number of people who still drive away from NCT centres in an unroadworthy vehicle or who arrange to have their car towed away.

The RSA spokesperson said anyone who continued to drive a vehicle after it was deemed dangerously defective was “irresponsible”.

Any motorist whose vehicle is classified as “fail dangerous” is advised that it is unsafe to be used on the road “under any circumstances”.

A sticker stating “failed dangerous” in placed on such vehicles by NCT inspectors at the end of a test.

It is illegal for a vehicle to be driven on a public road with dangerous defects which means the driver may incur penalty points and a court appearance if caught by An Garda Síochána.

Any motorist detected driving an unroadworthy vehicle is liable for a fine of up to €2,000 and five penalty points and/or a three-month jail term.

The RSA said that gardaí were automatically notified via the National Vehicle and Driver File of any vehicle that was overdue its NCT by three months.

Such information is also now available to gardaí at roadside checkpoints who are equipped with new hand-held devices for checking on the licensing status of drivers and vehicles stopped.

RSA figures show 50% of all cars which underwent a NCT last year passed the full test – up from 49.1% in 2018.

In addition to the “fail dangerous” vehicles, over 603,000 other cars also failed the test.

The figures indicate that over 41,500 vehicles which did not pass the full test were not submitted for a re-test.

Cars first registered in 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009 and any older vehicles were due for testing last year.

The RSA confirmed recently that it has required Applus to pilot changes to the testing of a vehicle’s suspension.

It follows a €31,000 award by Cork Circuit Civil Court against Applus for failing to spot a faulty suspension in a vehicle, which was subsequently involved in a fatal traffic collision.

A post-collision report found the vehicle to be unroadworthy both at the time of its involvement in a fatal crash near Fota, Co Cork in December 2012 and when it passed the NCT seven months earlier.

The driver of the vehicle, a young Cork woman, Amanda O’Flaherty (26) was killed after it veered suddenly into the path of an oncoming vehicle.