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45,000 families now in mortgage arrears

A COUPLE with an 11-week-old baby will have their home repossessed because they were unable to meet their mortgage payments.

Tens of thousands of families could now face losing their home if they fail to pay mortgage instalments for at least a year, new figures have outlined.

The latest statistics were revealed as Mr Justice Brian McGovern gave the go ahead for a total of six repossessions across the country.

One couple, who live in their home in Galway with their young child, took out a €425,000 mortgage in August 2004.


The loan was due to have been repaid at a rate of €2,947 a month for 20 years.

However, the couple ran into difficulties in 2005 and their last payment was made in May 2007.

The couple suggested a number of means to resume their monthly repayments which included selling their house in Galway and another in Cyprus, but this was never done.

The couple are now in €152,000 in arrears and owe a total of €540,000.

Another family in Tallaght, who took out a €140,000 mortgage with GE Capital Woodchester Home Loans, were only able to make sporadic payments of €200 a month, instead of the agreed €800.

The defendant said that he was out of work because he was sick and any spare money he had was spent on domestic repairs. The judge made the order for repossession with a six-month stay.

The father of one of the borrowers asked for a three-month adjournment. He told Mr Justice McGovern the couple had been going through a separation. His daughter had applied for State mortgage assistance, and he also hoped there might be some "coming together" for the couple. He asked for time to allow them to get counselling.

The number of homeowners who have been unable to repay their mortgage for three months or more has jumped by almost 5,000 to 45,000, according to statistics from Moody's.

Almost 6pc of mortgage holders are now in arrears for three months or more, which totals close to 45,000 mortgage holders who have not made a payment for three months or more.

The latest figures were revealed as Permanent TSB announced that it will jump up its interest rate rises next month.

Permanent TSB is to raise its variable rates by 0.5pc from February in a move likely to be followed by its rivals.