Tuesday 24 January 2017

The debt trap

Published 16/03/2010 | 05:00

For those who want to rid themselves of negative equity, the options are few.

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One is to move in with friends or family and rent out the home. But severe falls in rents mean you are unlikely to cover your home-loan repayments.

You could wait for the Government to come up with a rescue scheme aimed at helping heavily indebted homeowners.

An expert group was appointed in the past few months to study what could be done to help those drowning in debt, but it is unlikely to recommend that banks take a hit.

If banks are forced to write off millions of euro in residential mortgage debts, then all taxpayers will pay by having to put more money up to recapitalise the banks.

The two most credible alternatives are to overpay your mortgage or just sit it out. If you overpay your mortgage each month you may get to the point where the value of the loan comes down to equal than the value of the property.

But the option most likely to be chosen is to stay put and sit it out until house prices eventually stabilise and then rise.

One expert reckons that could happen within two years, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Irish Independent

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