MAYBE THE LOW turnout in the children’s referendum is not that surprising. There comes a time when people – having been respectful, patient and tolerant – have to say enough. We as citizens are taking a significant amount of pain for the wrongdoing of banks, bankers and regulators. When a government cannot mobilise its people to vote for child protection , maybe – just maybe – the biggest alarm should go off.
ranslate what the bank is offering you – no advice, just translation. MABS provides an excellent service but that’s because their staff are dedicated and trusted by the public, not because of the leadership shown by the minister or the Citizens Information Board. Only creditors including banks have benefited from this inaction.
Now we are given the Insolvency Bill, which is being promoted as our saviour. Vested interests both politically and professionally will welcome the Bill, but its extremely difficult for debtors to achieve any real protection within the Bill. The banks have a veto and there is no independent oversight of the decisions a bank might make. As a senior figure in the Central Bank has suggested, banks are like teenagers. I say it might not be advisable to leave teenagers in a free house unsupervised.
This Bill will also promote the tiering of debtors, where professional insolvency practitioners will naturally select those who can pay for insolvency services and leave those who cannot to fend for themselves. As currently presented, in order to apply for bankruptcy you will have to jump over more hurdles than there are in an Olympic race track.
There is a need for expert assistance to be available to mortgage holders to ensure their interests are protected in relation to dealing with banks and other creditors. The failure of Government and banks to deal with this crisis has made a difficult situation becoming close to unmanageable. With figures for the third quarter due out soon showing those in arrears the time has come for action.
I with others who feel equally strongly are working through a new organisation the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation to advocate on behalf of debtors, to work to bring long term solutions and systems to over indebtedness and to allow this great country move forward.
David Hall was one of the co-founders of New Beginning in 2010. In July 2012, David and other concerned citizens established the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO) to help consumers tackle the increasing burden of personal debt. In addition to IMHO, David owns and runs Lifeline Ambulance Service. David also founded the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 1992.