Write-downs done on a case-by-case basis - Noonan

Updated: Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 17:05

The Minister for Finance has ruled out an across the board write-down of mortgage debt, saying any write-downs would have to be done on a case by case basis.

Michael Noonan told the Dáil that repossessions of family homes would be "a residual option in extremis".

Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin pointed to remarks by senior officials saying there would have to be a significant increase in repossessions, but Minister Noonan insisted they would only be a residual option, used in extremis.

He said if there was no possiblity of repossession, the deeds held by banks as collateral for home loans were worth nothing.

Mr Noonan said any write-down of debt would have to be done on a case by case basis, firmly ruling out any across the board initiative.

Meanwhile, New Beginning, the organisation which represents distressed borrowers, said that it has concluded a number of deals in the past few days which have included debt relief for mortgage holders.

The development follows the announcement yesterday by the Central Bank and the Government of a new regime to speed up solutions for those in arrears.

At a conference in Dublin today, the director of the Insolvency Service of Ireland, Lorcan O'Connor, said that the service would begin a public information campaign in the coming weeks.

He added that the service would also be launching a guide and website showing sample scenarios for people who avail of personal insolvency.

He outlined details of a register of people who applied for insolvency and said the register would be public, would include the name, address and date of birth of applicants and which arrangement they had applied for.