Tuesday 19 February 2019

Legal moves to repossess homes drop 50pc in year

(Stock Image)
(Stock Image)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

There has been a sharp drop in the number of court proceedings issued to repossess homes.

Consumer advocate Brendan Burgess said that it was time to cancel the warning of a tsunami of repossessions.

Figures he has obtained from the Courts Service show 1,600 court proceedings for possession were issued last year, down 50pc on the previous year.

There has been an 80pc drop in the number of proceedings for possession issued since the peak in 2014.

Separate repossession figures gathered by the Central Bank, although using different methodology, show the same trend of a plummeting in possession proceedings being issued.

Mr Burgess said that estimates that 20,000 possession cases are in the courts system are a gross exaggeration.

"The true figure is around 7,000.

"Is it time to cancel the tsunami warning?"

Mr Burgess said it was strange that just 7,000 proceedings are in the system, when 28,000 mortgage accounts are in long-term arrears.

Arrears campaigner David Hall, of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, has repeatedly warned of a tsunami of repossessions.

He said that he had been expecting a fall in the court proceedings as banks had sold problem mortgages to vulture funds.

Asked about his repeated warnings over a tsunami of repossessions, he warned: "This is the calm before the storm."

He referred to a recent Central Bank report that states that half of those in long-term arrears will lose their homes.

Irish Independent

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