“Mortgage arrears may just be the biggest legacy issue from the financial crisis” commented Mr. Elderfield (Head of Financial Regulation at the Central Bank) at a packed gathering in the RDS during the week.
One of the main talking points of the meeting was on how to provide support for struggling borrowers. Fine Gael social and family affairs spokeswoman Olwyn Enright said there was a clear need to help those who genuinely cannot pay their mortgage. Congress president Jack O’Connor added; “It is absolutely inconceivable that we are able to pour billions into the black hole of the Anglo Irish Bank without any prospect of a cent in return, while at the same time ordinary citizens who are doing their best to put a roof over their families are being crucified and left helpless as a result of the activities of speculators and parasites…”
However Mr. Elderfield highlighted that “Taxpayers would have to bear the cost of any support mechanism over arrears… 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.”
Summary of the numbers;
- 791,000 private residential mortgage accounts currently open in the state – which are worth a total of €118 billion
- 3% rise in the number of people in arrears in Q1 2010
- 32, 321, approx 4% of all mortgages in the state in arrears of more than 90 days
- €464.5 million the current total of arrears of distressed mortgages in Ireland
- 456 the stock number of repossessed residential properties at the end of March by mortgage lenders
Have your say: Mortgage Arrears
- Should the taxpayer provide support for struggling borrowers?