‘Tsunami’ of homes risk being repossessedby bank

AIB has confirmed that over 5,700 owner-occupied homes in mortgage arrears face being taken over by the bank amid suggestions that a “tsunami” of repossessions are on the way.

‘Tsunami’ of homes risk being repossessedby bank

However, bank CEO David Duffy yesterday insisted that the bank was reducing the number of people in arrears. He also said insisted that AIB disposed of the legal route once borrowers engaged with it.

Figures released to the Oireachtas Finance Committee show that 5,709 legal proceedings were begun against homeowners at the end of last year. Another 3,871 private dwellings were also under threat of repossession.

The detailed document circulated to TDs and senators also showed that no payment had been made for another 7,000 mortgages which were in arrears of over two years. These properties could now go on to face potential repossession proceedings.

But bank officials told the committee that half of mortgage owners who ended up in legal proceedings ended up re-engaging with the lender.

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Labour senator Aideen Hayden said that there was a “tsunami” of repossession cases.

AIB’s head of financial solutions Brendan O’Connor said that each situation came down to “financial realities”.

“Where someone simply can’t afford to repay, they will get a writedown, it’s about what the individual can afford,” he said.

Former Labour minister Pat Rabbitte also highlighted the fact that some €460m in residential mortgage debt was written off last year, a lot more compared to previous years.

There had been suggestions from some TDs yesterday that the bank is being “fattened up” to be sold.

But Mr Duffy denied that this was the case or that there was any political interference in AIB’s commercial transactions.

Committee members heard how the bank was now worth at least €12bn.

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