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New threat to trackers

THE Central Bank is to give banks the power, for the first time, to take tracker mortgages off struggling householders.

However, heavy restrictions are to be placed on the new ability of lenders to strip homeowners of the low-cost mortgage rate.

The decision is expected to affect thousands of borrowers.

A majority of the 23,500 mortgages in arrears of two years or more are considered candidates for debt write-downs.

Around half of these distressed mortgages are on tracker rates.

The move to restructure tracker mortgages comes despite hundreds of submissions urging regulators not to change the strict rules on blocking banks from redrawing the low-cost products.