Speaking about new figures released by the financial regulator today on Mortgage arrears Head of financial regulation at the central bank Mr. Elderfield said that mortgage arrears may just be “the biggest legacy issue” from the financial crisis. According to the updated figures released the financial regulator the number of homeowners missing monthly mortgage repayments increased again in the first quarter of this year, rising by 13%. At the end of March, 32,321, close to 4% of all residential property loans in the state with a value of €6.1 billion were more than 90 days behind in payments.
While many have raised the question about helping householders with substantial mortgage arrears Mr. Elderfield said that there is “No silver bullet solution… and in seeking to assist households in difficulty, we need to recognise that the cost of any support will be borne by those neighbours who avoided excessive borrowing themselves or are gritting their teeth and meeting their obligations.” Taxpayers would have to bear the cost of any support mechanism over arrears, he said.
The figures at the end of March 2010:
- 791,000 property loans in the State, which are worth a total of €118 billion
- Some 2.8 per cent of mortgages, or €4.1 billion, were more than 180 days behind
- Repossession orders were granted in 100 cases – 13 properties surrendered voluntarily and nine abandoned. The regulator said 98 of the remaining cases were settled through renegotiating the mortgage term and conditions.
- Mortgage lenders had a stock of 456 repossessed residential properties