Following a recent roundtable discussion, this submission examines the current trend of increased levels of long term mortgage arrears and applications for court ordered possession of family homes alongside the paucity of adequate and affordable legal assistance available to borrowers facing such legal proceedings. Following on from the discussion, CLM believe that early and on going legal support is necessary for individuals in mortgage arrears to allow them to make informed decisions and to address the current power imbalance that exists in favour of lending institutions.
CLM propose that any model of legal support should incorporate the following strands of service:
- Support including legal & financial support for borrowers in relation to negotiating sustainable arrangements with lenders;
- Legal advice and representation in relation to court repossession proceedings. This should consist of both emergency and on going support; and
- Advice and assistance in relation to social housing entitlements.
CLM suggest that all three supports described above should be provided by one agency to ensure a full complement of supports and services.
Download the submission here.