17/11/2010

40,000 Mortgages In Arrears Over 90 Days

One in 20 Irish mortgages have been in arrears for over 90 days according to figures from the Central Bank today.

The worrying data shows 40,472 mortgages were in arrears for over the 90 days period at the end of September over double that of last year's figure.

During the last three months, mortgage lenders filed 210 cases against mortgage holders, an increase of 24% since the second quarter ending June. The 210 cases possess arrears totalling €7.8 million against the full mortgages of €76.9 million.

The level of mortgage default is of serious concern to the Irish Government and to the economy. Just as the Anglo Irish Bank collapsed as construction companies defaulted on their loans, it is believed that banks with large mortgage holdings could be equally at risk from homeowner defaults. Current estimates suggest that an outbreak of mortgage defaults could plunge the Irish economy into a financial crisis that would be effectively beyond recovery.

Today's statistics also show that at the beginning of the last quarter mortgage lenders held a stock of 495 repossessed residential properties. A further 81 were repossessed during the quarter of which 22 were repossessed on foot of Court Orders and 59 were repossessed following voluntary surrender or abandonment.

A total of 54 properties were disposed of during the quarter. This left mortgage lenders with 522 repossessed residential properties at the end of September 2010.

(DW/GK)

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