Housing law expert calls for ‘proactive’ enforcement of mortgage holders’ rights
A housing law expert has called on the Central Bank of Ireland to take a more “proactive” approach to enforcing EU protections for mortgage holders.
Dr Padraic Kenna, senior lecturer in law at NUI Galway, wrote to The Irish Times after the Central Bank warned lenders not to add legal costs to mortgage accounts during repossession proceedings.
In a letter, Dr Kenna said the measure highlighted “the poor level of consumer protection for mortgagors in Ireland” 25 years after the adoption of the EU Unfair Contract Terms Directive.
He added: “The ECB has confirmed that the Central Bank of Ireland is responsible for ensuring compliance with this directive, as it applies to mortgages, in Ireland. It can refer such mortgage terms to the courts for a definitive ruling, but has never done so.
“Of course, the Central Bank could take a proactive approach to this issue of unfair terms in Irish mortgages, request copies of all standard mortgages used by Irish lenders, and examine these for unfair terms.
“Perhaps, Brian Hayes of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland would encourage his members to comply with such a request, and facilitate these EU consumer rights for Irish consumers.”