More than 2,000 home seizure cases listed in the courts before Christmas
Published 20/11/2016 | 02:30
The rise of family home repossession court cases is set to continue in the run-up to Christmas, with figures currently at 2,600 a month.
There are 650 family court appearances a week, and experts have predicted there will be this many into next year.
It came amid claims of a significant "escalation" in enforcement orders since the middle of the summer.
The Sunday Independent has learned more than 2,000 cases will come before the courts in the next five weeks - placing stress on families before the festive season.
New Beginning - a group of lawyers providing representation for those facing repossession - said 100 cases on average are being heard a month in Limerick, with the figure for Cork running at 200.
In Meath, 150 cases are being heard on average each month, with 100 in Tipperary, 46 in Kilkenny, 88 in Mayo, and 83 in Kerry. Central Bank figures have revealed the number of repossessions of a "primary dwelling home'' has dramatically increased in the past four years.
In 2015, 726 homes were repossessed. This compared with 315 dwellings seized by banks and financial institutions in 2014, and 251 in 2013.
In the first six months of this year, 240 homes were retaken by financial institutions.
Founder of New Beginning Ross Maguire said there had been a marked escalation in enforcement orders in recent months. He added: "There is a cohort of people in the country who, no matter what they do, cannot afford their mortgage, and are facing inevitable repossession."
David Hall, director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, said the "system is failing" families grappling with mortgage debt. He called on Housing Minister Simon Coveney to declare a national emergency on the issue.
He said: "There are 34,000 cases in arrears of more than two years and 59,000 between one and two years."