“Banks have given families the two fingers” - Fitzmaurice

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Roscommon/South Leitrim Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has said that banks must start engaging with people in a more realistic way on the issue of mortgage arrears.

Roscommon/South Leitrim Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has said that banks must start engaging with people in a more realistic way on the issue of mortgage arrears.

Speaking last week, Dep Fitzmaurice said that although he acknowledged the work done by David Hall, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and other groups, the arrogance being shown to them by banks is “unsustainable”. He also said that the banks have effectively given families across Ireland “the two fingers”.

“I have gone with people to try to resolve problems, but the banks hold all the cards and are telling people what to do. This cannot continue. We must bear something in mind.

“When the banks knocked on the former government’s door in the middle of the night in their hour of need, we as a nation put €65 billion behind them. Now, when people in family homes across the country genuinely need help, the banks are giving them the two fingers.”

He said that there is now a fear among families. “An old saying down the country is that, when poverty comes in the door, love goes out the window. There are people who are living in dire straits.”

Deputy Fitzmaurice also said that local authorities must speed up the process of providing housing. He continued: “I attended a meeting in Leitrim this week where I spoke to the local authority’s housing officers, as I have done in the case of various councils. There is always discussion about building houses and so on. The reality however, is that something might be announced in October, but by the time the greenfield site is ready, planning is secured and so on, it will probably be a year or 14 months before the project is up and running. What can we do when people are under pressure but there are no houses in which to accommodate them?”