Feb 01 2018 Posted: 08:00 GMT

NUI Galway Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy is publishing a new, user-friendly Guide to help thousands of Irish families in mortgage distress, and facing unfair evictions to understand and advocate for their rights, using vital EU consumer and human rights law.

The Guide, 'Your EU Consumer and Human Rights: A Guide for People in Mortgage Distress in Ireland', published jointly with Open Society Foundations' Abusive Lending Practices Project, is also essential reading for people improperly denied tracker mortgages, or those who have been given incorrect interest calculations.

** The Guide is available to download here: A Guide for People in Mortgage Distress in Ireland **

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Dr Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway, and one of the authors of the report, says: "Our Guide sets out simply and clearly how existing EU law should be routinely applied to determine, firstly, whether a mortgage contract term is fair and, secondly, whether a possession or eviction notice is a proportional response to any breach of a mortgage term. By applying these EU laws, Irish courts and lawyers can really assist their clients and vulnerable defendants."

The authors have stressed that the Guide is for information purposes only. It does not provide legal advice, and is not a substitute for consulting a lawyer. They suggest, within the Guide, that people share it with their solicitors. They also acknowledge, however, that a high number of people facing possession are unrepresented, due to the shortage of free and low cost legal services.

The Guide has been created as part of the Open Society Foundations' Abusive Lending Practices Project, in conjunction with the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway, and a group of Irish lawyers and advocates.

Dr Padraic Kenna

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