More mortgage holders in serious arrears but repossessions down
MORE than 70,000 mortgages in Ireland are now in arrears, latest figures reveal.
A Central Bank report shows almost one in every 10 homeowners has fallen at least three months behind in their repayments.
Bernard Sheridan, director of consumer protection at the Central Bank, urged those struggling to make contact with their lender as early as possible.
"It is important that borrowers co-operate fully with their lenders in order to be able to avail of the protections under the Central Bank's revised code of conduct on mortgage arrears," he said.
Some 70,911 private residential mortgages - out of a total 768,917 in Ireland - had lapsed into arrears of 90 days or more by the end of last year, the latest figures confirm.
That represents a jump of around 8,000 from just three months earlier at the end of September.
The repayment plans for 74,379 mortgages were restructured to help home-owners cope with the financial burden - up almost 7pc over the same period.
Just over half of these restructured mortgages are in trouble with arrears.
Almost 25,000 home-owners are only meeting interest payments as part of renewed agreements with lenders.
In total, 107,708 home loans are either in arrears of three months or more or have been restructured and those repayments are being met.
Some 133 properties were repossessed by lenders between last September and the end of the year, the figures show.
Fifty of those were seized on foot of court orders while the remaining 83 homes were either voluntarily surrendered or abandoned.
The Central Bank said the total number of homes repossessed during the three-month period was down 18pc - from 162 properties - compared with the previous three months