‘Frightening’ figures highlight extent of arrears crisis

Groups assisting those in mortgage arrears have described, as “frightening”, figures showing more than one in 10 people now over 90 days behind on repayments.

New Beginning said the latest figures from the Central Bank revealed an intensifying economic crisis and that there was nothing positive about a slowdown in pace on the percentage of the increase in arrears’ compared to three months ago.

Spokesperson for the group, Ross Maguire SC, said any notion that the numbers were lessening fails to grasp the reality.

“Over 200,000 households are facing mortgage difficulties; the 11.3% increase is based on an already enormous figure and, thus percentage-wise, may seem much less significant. The only way we will see improvement is when these numbers are reversed.

“Today’s figures just confirm that things are getting increasingly worse, pushing any hope of economic recovery far out of reach.”

Free legal services support group Flac said the news was not unexpected but new figures highlighted the depth of the arrears crisis.

Flac director general, solicitor Noeline Blackwell, described the figures as “frightening” and criticised the fact no long-term solution to the problem had been put in place.

“The arrears crisis continues to be serious but is not unexpected. No durable, long-term solutions have been put in place. Lenders continue to adopt a sticking-plaster approach to the problem.

“The news in these figures is the frightening depth of the arrears. It is incredible that in the fourth year of a relentless rise in the number of households in mortgage arrears, we still lack the systems to tackle this.”


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