THE number of homeowners who are in arrears on their mortgages has fallen back as banks slowly get to grips with the problem.
New figures from the Department of Finance show that 71,300 mortgage accounts at six domestic banks are three months or more behind on their repayments.
This figure is down more than 7,000 since the start of the year.
The figures for the end of July show a slight increase in the numbers getting into arrears for the first time.
But there has been a sharp rise in the numbers who have had their mortgage repayments restructured.
Close to 51,000 mortgage accounts that are three months or more in arrears were restructured in July. This is up from 21,000 in July.
However, the domestic banks have yet to seven out of 10 mortgages, the figures show.
The department said the large numbers yet to be restructured reflects those who are not co-operating with their bank, those who have come to the end of a temporary deal and those still considering an offer from their bank.
The department compiles its figures using data from the country's six main mortgage providers - AIB, Bank of Ireland, PTSB, ACC, KBC Ireland and Ulster Bank. These banks represent 90pc of the mortgage market.
The statistics show that the number of split mortgages, where part of the mortgage is put aside for a fixed term, continues to increase.
There were 15,248 split mortgages in place at the end of July, an increase of 1,090 on the previous month, the department said.
The number owner-occupier accounts in arrears of more than 90 days has fallen from 62,210 at the end of August last year to 50,823 accounts at the end of July this year.
The number of buy-to-let mortgage accounts in arrears at the end of July fell only slightly to 33,185 from 33,347 the previous month.
The number of accounts in arrears of greater than 90 days fell by 97 accounts in July to 26,600, the figures show.