Government must move to prohibit the sale of mortgages to vulture funds – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that his Government must move to prohibit the sale of mortgages to vulture funds.

She also urged the Taoiseach to tell Permanent TSB that his Government will not permit the sale of 20,000 mortgages to such companies.

The Sinn Féin Leader said;

“I am urging you to do the right thing and help save these people from a nightmare.

“Lift the phone to Permanent TSB and tell them that your government will not permit the sale.

“To deal with the current situation, you can support the legislation tabled by Sinn Féin to protect the homeowners affected by sales to vultures by fully regulating the actual owner of the credit.

“And how about this for an idea – you should issue a direction to the banks and to NAMA today that under no circumstances should any domestic mortgage be sold to a vulture fund.”

Responding to the Taoiseach’s assertion that Permanent TSB has yet to sell any of the 20,000 to vulture funds, Teachta Dála McDonald said;

What will the Minister for Finance tell Permanent TSB when they consult with him on the prospective sale?

“Will he tell them that he will not permit the sale to proceed?”

Earlier Ms McDonald criticised not only the government but also Fianna Fáil for what she described as their “odious hypocrisy” on the issue.

She said;

“In 2015, you had a chance to ensure these vulnerable mortgage holders would have some level of protection.

“However, Fine Gael and Labour in government refused to support Sinn Féin in making sure vulture funds were fully regulated.

“Fianna Fáil also failed to support our proposal. In fact, they didn’t even bother turning up for the vote.

“The hypocrisy is odious as the government and Fianna Fáil now pretend to champion the very people they helped feed to the vultures three years ago.

“On the watch of former Minister Michael Noonan, officials from the Department of Finance met with vulture funds sixty times in less than two years.

“Serious high-level access for vulture funds, the cold-shoulder for vulnerable mortgage holders.” ENDS