Monday 26 September 2016

Rise in numbers with long-term mortgage arrears

Published 03/09/2015 | 02:30

Just over 38,000 residential mortgage accounts were more than two years behind on repayments in June, according to the Central Bank
Just over 38,000 residential mortgage accounts were more than two years behind on repayments in June, according to the Central Bank

The number of homeowners in deep trouble with meeting their mortgage payments continues to rise.

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This is despite a fall in the overall numbers in mortgage arrears, better jobs figures and other positive economic indicators.

Just over 38,000 residential mortgage accounts were more than two years behind on repayments in June, according to the Central Bank.

This is almost 1,000 more cases than last year.

Arrears cases of more than two years now represent 54pc of the total in arrears over 90 days.

The average amount of arrears for these accounts has risen to €53,503.

However, Central Bank statisticians insisted that the numbers in arrears for more than two years is rising at a slower pace than previously.

People in long-term arrears are at high risk of losing their homes, with many likely to have been threatened with repossession by their banks.

The numbers in the long-term arrears category have been rising relentlessly, despite falls in the overall numbers behind on their mortgage repayments.

Central Bank figures show that just over 98,000 mortgage accounts were in arrears in the three months to June.

It was the first time in three and a half years that the total in some form of arrears dipped below 100,000.

Overall, 13pc of residential mortgages are in some form of arrears, the figures show.

Banks repossessed 201 residential properties on foot of a court order, during the period of April to June.

They collectively held 1,832 repossessed residential properties at the end of the quarter, after selling 291 homes.

Buy-to-let mortgage accounts in arrears over 90 days decreased during the second quarter. There were almost 31,500 investor mortgages in arrears in June, out of a total of 137,000.

This means one in five investor mortgages is in arrears.

Paul Joyce, of rights group FLAC, said few long-term arrears cases were being restructured.

"Little is being done in terms of restructuring the critical cases, the two main restructuring options continuing to have failure rates, calling into question their viability in the long term," he said.

Irish Independent

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