Free Legal Advice Centre says latest mortgage arrears figures are worrying

The Free Legal Advice Centre says the latest mortgage arrears figures are still worrying, despite falling for the third year in a row.

Around 11% of mortgages were in arrears at the end of last year according to Central Bank figures, a 2.6% drop since September 2016.

However, FLAC says the biggest concern is that 33,500 accounts are in arrears for over two years, by an average amount of over €65,000.

Paul Joyce, senior policy analyst with FLAC, says a lot more could be done to help people in arrears.

"So what we would see as being a solution certainly in a certain number of cases is the write-down of the mortgage to the current market value of the property.

"A lot of the mortgages that are in arrears are in properties that are still in negative equity, that is one way of resolving a certain number of cases but it's not happening frequently enough at the moment."

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