Central Bank figures published today show 55,763 home loans, or 7.2 per cent of all mortgages, were in arrears for more than 90 days at the end of June.
This compares to an arrears level of 6.3 per cent three months ago, and 5.7 per cent at the end of last year.
At the end of June there were 777,321 private residential mortgage accounts held in the Republic of Ireland to a value of €115 billion.
According to the Central Bank, 69,837 residential mortgages were categorised as restructured at the end of June. This compares with 62,936 restructured accounts at the end of March. Of this total 39,395 are not in arrears.
Between April and June mortgage lenders applied to commence proceedings to enforce the debt/security on a mortgage in 209 cases comprising arrears totalling €7.2 million built up on loans equating to €60.2 million.
Chief executive of the Irish Brokers Association Ciaran Phelan said banks are starting to understand that restructuring was the “only real solution”.
“According to these numbers, over 4,000 mortgages in arrears were restructured during the quarter; this number needs to rise significantly if we’re to slow the growing level of arrears – there were 6,000 new households in arrears in the quarter,” he said.
The Government is considering establishing a new agency with legal powers to enforce debt restructuring agreements between banks and struggling home owners. The Cabinet is awaiting a report from an expert group due by the end of next month.
One measure now under consideration is converting the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (Mabs) into a personal debt management agency, which would be given “quasi-judicial status” to enable it to “support families who make an honest effort to deal with their debts, including non-mortgage debt”.
These new legal powers would enable such an agency to require banks to achieve a resolution in these cases. Mabs spokesman Michael Culloty said today that about half of its clients came seeking mortgage advice.
Mr Culloty said that distressed mortgages remained a “growing problem”.
Mortgage arrears will remain a problem and I expect it to be endemic by the end of the first quarter of next year. With Christmas out of the way and new debts added to the old ones, I believe people will have had enough! While our gutless politicians tinker around with the very real problems of homeowners debts it will be impossible to sell the concept that citizens must continue to bail out developers in NAMA and continue to pay them 200,000 Euros ,while at the same the ordinary Joe have to endure a lifetime of debt .The Banks were just as much responsible for pumping up prices of shoeboxes and they must have known that the chickenswould come home to roust some time !
The Financial regulator abandoned his Responsibility to regulate the financial industry allowing them to become gambling hubs, accountability was nonexistent and political interference in the property market allowed and felicitated the exploitation of gullible citizens .The printed press heavyweights all enjoyed hefty profits advertising these overpriced future slums to the masses. Now they are supporting the gutless politicians in keeping the masses in financial slavery.
People of Ireland stand up and cast off this yoke from around our collative neck!