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Thursday 2 October 2014

Number in arrears falls but one in six still await deal

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

Published 10/01/2014 | 02:30

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The number of apartment owners failing to pay a service charge is on the rise.

THE number of people in mortgage arrears has fallen and more homeowners have had their debt permanently restructured.

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However, three-quarters of those in arrears to the six main banks have still not been restructured.

New figures from the Department of Finance show some 116,481 households were in arrears on their mortgages in November.

Even though that's nearly 2,000 fewer than two months earlier, it still means one in six of all mortgage holders is in arrears.

Almost 70pc of those are over 90 days behind, but the numbers in this situation fell slightly to 80,487.

Altogether some 49,304 homeowners have now had their mortgages permanently restructured, which is an increase of over 8,000 since the end of August 2013.

Getting an extended term is the most common solution to mortgage problems, followed by arrears capitalisation -- where the arrears is incorporated into the mortgage over its remaining term -- while smaller numbers of homeowners have been offered fixed repayments or split mortgages, where part of the debt is parked.

TEMPORARY

There has been a fall in the number of homeowners getting a temporary mortgage restructuring deal, with 22,999 people in this situation in November, down nearly 6,000 since September.

Half of homeowners who got a temporary deal from the bank moved onto interest-only payments, but this number has fallen significantly in the last few months.

The Department of Finance said the fall in temporary deals is down to a shift towards more permanent solutions, which were up nearly 300 in the month.

Their figures are based on data from the six main banks, which represent 90pc of the market -- AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, ACC, KBC and Ulster Bank.

The Central Bank has set these banks the target of offering sustainable debt repayment deals to three-quarters of customers in arrears of over 90 days by mid-year, with 35pc of those deals to be concluded by June.

Irish Independent

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