Thursday, 30 May 2019
Department of Finance
47. To ask the Minister for Finance if guidance has been issued by the Central Bank or if there is an industry-wide approach being adopted by banks in cases in which a couple has separated and there is no agreement between the parties in relation to the mortgage; the position in cases in which one party, for example, wishes to be removed from the mortgage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23108/19]
In general, under the terms of mortgage credit contracts both of the parties to a joint mortgage will be jointly and severally liable for the debt. Accordingly, the removal of persons from a liability for some or all of the debt under a mortgage agreement is a contractual matter for the parties to the agreement or will, having regard to the particular circumstances of any individual case, be governed by contract or any other applicable law. Therefore, the Central Bank is limited in what it can prescribe in this area.
However, in respect of separated borrowers in or facing mortgage arrears on their primary residence, the Central Bank's Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) will apply. The CCMA provides that in the case of joint borrowers who notify the lender in writing that they have separated or divorced, the lender should treat each borrower as a single borrower under the Code (except to the extent that an action requires, as a matter of law, the agreement of both borrowers).