This week leading Housing Association, Respond! reported that nearly 100,000 homeowners are struggling with mortgage repayments, with more than 40,000 homeowners in arrears of 90 days or more and a further 28,000 who have been unable to repay their mortgage for more than 180 days.
Respond! fears that housing repossessions will soar this year unless urgent Government action is taken as anyone who has not paid their mortgage for a year or more is no longer protected by the Central Bank code of conduct on mortgage arrears. This leaves them highly vulnerable to having home repossessed – however banks have so far been reluctant to take this drastic action.
With these figures and with election campaigns in full swing, Fine Gael pledged to ease the burden on hard-pressed homeowners by expanding the means-tested mortgage interest supplement (MIS) scheme and by providing increased mortgage interest relief for those they called the “negative equity generation”.
Many punters were angry on hearing the announcement saying that the cost of any support will be borne by those who avoided excessive borrowing and who are already financially stretched themselves. Not only that, but some believe by increasing reliefs it could incentivise homeowners to breach their financial obligations as such plans would amount to “free money”.
Have Your Say:
- Should better support be provided for those in mortgage arrears?