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Saturday 25 January 2020

Strategy on mortgage arrears is working, says official

Ray Managh

THE new talks strategy between distressed homeowners and mortgage banks seems to be working, the Dublin County Registrar has said.

Susan Ryan, who annually deals with thousands of applications by finance houses relating to the repossession of homes, said that in most cases where there was adequate communication then things were working out satisfactorily.

"There is an accommodation and it seems to be working," she said. "There are extreme cases which are unfortunate and others where there are legal issues, but in most cases banks and borrowers are coming to an arrangement."

Ms Ryan's good news statement for borrowers, who up to now faced almost automatic loss of their homes, follows on recent government action to resolve the mortgage arrears crisis.

The County Registrar was dealing with an application by the Bank of Scotland for possession of the home of Derek and Brenda May, of Butterfield Meadow, Rathfarnham, Dublin.

Lauren Bailey, a credit control analyst with the bank, had told the County Registrar's Court there were arrears of just over €40,000 on a €502,000 mortgage and the bank had been seeking possession on an outstanding sum of €567,224.

The bank's application had earlier been adjourned with leave to the bank to re-enter the proceedings in the event of a breakdown in an agreed settlement on repayments.

Ms Ryan heard that €8,000 had since been paid by the Mays and adjourned the bank's application to reinstate its repossession application. She added negotiations by a financial adviser on behalf of the couple had not been communicated to the bank's Dublin solicitor.

Issues

Earlier this year the Government introduced legislation to resolve the arrears issue, which it described as one of the most serious social and economic issues facing the country.

Now the six main banks have to propose by the end of June sustainable mortgage solutions for 20pc of distressed borrowers and for 50pc by the end of the year.

Irish Independent

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