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Mason, Hayes & Curran > Firm Details


New York
330 Madison Avenue, 6th Floor ,
New York, New York - 10017



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Staff Size : 50
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The Data Protection Commissioner announced on 21 December 2006 that he was issuing a guidance note to mortgage intermediaries nationwide.
This announcement followed investigations launched subsequent to RTÉ’s Prime Time programme of 12 December which made allegations that mortgage intermediaries were breaching the Irish Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003. Prime Time’s undercover reporter had claimed that some brokers disclosed details of their clients’ financial information, including mortgage limits, to estate agents offering to sell property to those clients. Allegedly, the agents then used the knowledge of the potential buyer’s mortgage limits to raise the offer price of the property.

In his guidance note, the Commissioner noted that the Prime Time programme and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner’s investigations had “highlighted a sectoral lack of awareness amongst mortgage brokers in relation to the full extent of their responsibilities under the Acts.” The guidance note re-iterates the eight fundamental rules of data protection, stressing that the principle that use and disclosure of data should only be made in ways compatible with the specified, explicit and lawful purposes for which they are obtained is of “great significance” in relation to mortgage intermediaries.

The Commissioner further emphasised that where financial information was given by an individual to a mortgage intermediary for the sole purpose of obtaining a mortgage, the obligation fell on the intermediary to ensure such information remained confidential.

The Commissioner advised that, in the future, mortgage brokers should take “a transparent and balanced approach in collecting and using personal data”. Significantly, the guidance note stresses that there should be a clearly assigned data protection compliance function within mortgage brokerage firms and clearly defined rules about the use of personal data. The Commissioner also advised the Financial Regulator of the content of the guidance note.

The Commissioner warned that the programme of random inspections of mortgage brokers would continue.

Consultation on Law Reform Commission’s Third Programme of Law Reform.
The Law Reform Commission has today announced the opening of a formal consultation process regarding new areas of law to be included in its Third Programme of Law Reform which will commence in 2008.

Many of the Law Reform Commission’s Consultation Papers and Reports have been implemented in full or in part in the form of new legislation. For example, many of the Commission’s recommendations contained in its 2005 Report on Reform and Modernisation of Land Law and Conveyancing Law are reflected in the Government’s Land Law and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2006.

Submissions on the Commission's planned Third Programme of Law Reform are being received by the Law Reform Commission until 15 June 2007.

As part of this process, the Commission has planned a number of seminars to take place throughout the country. The first seminar will take place at NUI Galway on Monday 26 March 2007. The second Seminar is planned for UCC on 30 April 2007, and final Seminar is planned for Dublin Castle on Wednesday 18 July, from 9 - 1 pm.

If you would like Mason Hayes+Curran to formulate a submission in a particular area of law on your behalf, please contact Dr Brian Hunt on + 353 1 614 5262 or email Brian at bhunt@mhc.ie.

Primary Practice Areas

Litigation,Charities, Children's Rights, Childcare Law, Corporate, Commercial, Construction, Engineering, Debt Recovery, Education, Family Law, French Desk, International Business, Inward Investment, Litigation, Financial Services, Employment Law, Benefits, Real Estate, Tax, Public Affairs, Technology Media, Telecoms, I-Law, MH, C Private, MH, C Healthcare, MH, C Start-Up, Public Companies.

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