Mortgage arrears at ‘crisis’ level

Lobby groups have criticised the Government and the Central Bank for allowing long-term mortgage arrears to escalate to crisis levels.

According to the Central Bank, 32,000 mortgage holders are in arrears over two years, with the value of these loans about €12bn.

Some 141,520 of the 768,136 mortgages in the State are in some arrears.

While short-term arrears fell by 6% to 42,331, there were 99,189 mortgages in arrears for more than 90 days at the end of September, a rise of 1,315 over the previous three months.

“The mortgage arrears figures released by the Central Bank show that central bank, banks and government have been complicit in failing to deal with the mortgage crisis,” said David Hall from the Irish Mortgage Holders Association.

Anthony Joyce of Flac described the 10% increase in arrears over two years as “a major concern”.

Economists say if the mortgage arrears problems stabilise at these levels, the banks are unlikely to need new capital.


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