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Seamus Coffey: Those who can never pay back their mortgage need to be given a way out

The focus in recent weeks has been on the sovereign debt crisis that has now fully engulfed the eurozone. Ireland has its own debt problems with a public debt that continues to balloon as the crisis develops and a huge household debt overhang from the credit excesses in the previous decade.

On Friday the Financial Regulator released the latest quarterly update of the Mortgage Arrears and Repossessions Statistics. On first glance it makes for pretty grim reading but it is useful to dig into the numbers for principal primary residences in a little more detail. This will show that while the problem is serious it is not as catastrophic as some commentators are claiming.

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