With a suggestion of a mortgage strike publicised last week, this week Fianna Fail put forward a number of radical proposals to help ease pressure on mortgage owners facing serious arrears. These included;
- The option of extending a mortgage by as much as 20 years
- Clamping down on debt management agencies and setting up a debt enforcement agency
- And making changes to the mortgage interest supplement scheme, which costs nearly €80 million a year
Figures from the CSO show that by last March, 90,000 loans totaling €15.4 billion were dangerously in arrears or had been modified. These numbers include 64,000 modified loans mostly re-set on interest only terms. Of these nearly 26,000 are non-performing after modification. The “at risk of repossession” group is close to 50,000 loans of which 35,000 are in arrears for over 180 days. Homeowners in this category owe €9.5bn on properties that have halved in value.
With the new universal social charge, increased taxation and more interest rate hikes imminent, it’s highly likely that even more homeowners will dip into the arrears bracket before this year is out.
Have your say:
- What needs to be done to help those in Mortgage arrears / debt? Are there any solutions?
- Are the proposals, put forward by Fianna Fail, realistic? Would they have an impact?