Saturday 24 February 2018

12,000 mortgages unpaid for year or more

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

ALMOST 12,000 homeowners have failed to pay their mortgages for a year or more, new figures from ratings agency Moody's indicate.

And people who are a year or more in arrears on their mortgages are no longer under the protection of the 12-month mortgage arrears moratorium.

A 12-month mortgage arrears moratorium was introduced under the Central Bank's Code of Conduct for Mortgage Arrears in February this year.

It means lenders cannot take legal action to repossess homes from borrowers until 12 months after their mortgage went into arrears.

The moratorium offered a temporary breathing space for borrowers in difficulties, but almost 12,000 of these have now run out of time.

Mortgage experts said last night that those people who had failed to make payments for a year were now at a high risk of losing their homes.

Operations director of Irish Mortgage Brokers Karl Deeter said people who were not even paying interest on their home loan for a year or more were facing the prospect of losing their homes. "If you have not paid your mortgage for a year or more, you are at the end. There is no coming back from that."

Mr Deeter said lenders were likely to enforce a pay or repossession policy in the new year with those borrowers who were seriously in arrears.

Moody's said that the percentage of mortgage holders in this market who had not paid their mortgage for 360 days was now 1.47pc.

This converts to 11,600 mortgage holders -- as there are 788,745 mortgages in the State, according to the Central Bank.

Overall some 42,434 homeowners are in arrears for three months or more, according to Moody's.

Irish Independent

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