A financial institution must show it is not signed up to a “mortgage to rent” scheme, and is only operating a pilot scheme, if it is to succeed in its claim to repossess a couple’s home, the High Court ruled. The scheme was set up by the Government to help home owners at risk of losing their home whereby a lender sells the house to a housing agency and the borrowers would then become tenants of that agency. Mr Justice Michael White was dealing with a dispute over whether a Dublin couple was entitled to avail of that scheme.

He said a lender, Stepstone Mortgage Funding Ltd, must show that it is only operating a pilot mortgage to rent scheme, which would mean it is not in breach of the Central Bank’s ‘Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears’. It would therefore be entitled to an order for possession of the home of Alan and Ursula Clarke at Dunard Road, Crumlin, Dublin, over arrears on a €300,000/35-year mortgage they took out in 2007. Repayments were €2,313 per month.

The court heard the couple, who live in the house with their five dependent children, first went into arrears in June 2008 and despite a number of alternative arrangements with Stepstone these were unsuccessful and arrears stood at €32,579 in 2010 when legal proceedings were initiated. The couple’s economic circumstances changed from 2008 onwards and the business they operated eventually closed in 2012. They are currently unemployed.

Continue reading on…

Lender must show ‘mortgage to rent’ is only pilot scheme, court rules.