New Beginning Response to The Central Bank Figures on Mortgage Arrears

The figures released today by the Central Bank show the level of mortgage arrears continues to decrease. This is to be welcomed.

New Beginning however notes with concern the following:

  1. Long term arrears continue to rise and now stand just short of 40,000
  2. Up to 37% of all restructures (almost 45,000 cases) are short term and therefore unsustainable
  3. 32,000 restructured cases are now back in arrears

Ross Maguire of New Beginning said:

The concern is that the figures deliberately mask a continuing problem – people are just not able to repay Celtic Tiger property debt. This cannot be a surprise given that neither the banks nor the commercial borrowers could repay these loans – and yet there remains a general failure to address the issue. The problem can only be addressed by an acceptance that debt must be written down – after 8 years we must begin to realise that there is no other option.

New Beginning believes that debt restructure and write down should be formal and fast and can best be achieved through the Insolvency system. People should be encouraged into the system as quickly as possible and the banks themselves have an important role in all of this.

For those whose circumstances are such as to mean they cannot afford a restructured mortgage New Beginning continues to advocate for and work on a large scale Mortgage to Lease programme which would transfer ownership of houses to housing association or local authorities but allow people to remain resident there on a long term and sustainable basis.


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