I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 75 together.
In any mortgage or other contract situation, there is an obligation on the parties to meet and fulfil their obligations as provided for in the contract. However, it is recognised that there are a number of primary home and buy to let mortgage borrowers who are experiencing genuine difficulty in meeting their mortgage repayment obligations and who may have an unsustainable mortgage situation. In such circumstances, I would encourage the respective parties to constructively engage on the matter and to be as open and flexible as possible on the available options to conclude a suitable and sustainable solution to a genuine mortgage difficulty in a way, having regard to the circumstances involved, that is as fair as possible to all the parties.
From a general policy perspective, the Government has put in place a comprehensive framework and strategy to appropriately address such situations including the code of conduct on mortgage arrears (primary home mortgages), the mortgage arrears resolution targets process (both primary home and buy to let mortgages) and personal insolvency reform. However, the most appropriate solution to a mortgage difficulty in any particular case is likely to be best found by the respective parties involved having regard to the particular circumstances of the case. It would not be appropriate for me as Minister to comment on what would be the best or appropriate solution in any individual case. However, if a voluntary or bilateral agreement cannot be reached by the parties to address a particular mortgage difficulty, the reformed statutory insolvency process, in particular the Personal Insolvency Arrangement framework or the revised bankruptcy system, will be available, to the parties as the ultimate resolution mechanism to any situation of mortgage difficulty.