Record number of homes repossessed: Could you be next?

Record number of homes repossessed: Could you be next?

Repossession: Could you be next?

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) has estimated that there are approximately 14,000 people in Ireland with mortgages in arrears. So it’s not surprising to hear that with the recession in full swing and money fairly sparse that around 225 orders for property repossessions were made by the circuit courts last year. The outstanding credit to private households reached a colossal €171.7 billion … at the end of March which hints that the number of repossessions can only go anywhere but up.

The High Courts are expecting an “avalanche” of possession orders this autumn as the first wave of moratoriums against pursuing mortgage arrears will end! Since February of this year there have been two separate freezes on following up unpaid mortgage payments; one for BOI & AIB which will stay in place until February 2010 and a second freeze of six months for all other lenders – which has now ended.

Undoubtedly many properties will be pursued in the fight for mortgage repayments. However all hope is not lost as Justice Minister Dermot Ahead has proposed to ban lenders for going directly to the High Court to seize properties of homeowners who have fallen behind. The proposal would make it compulsory that repossession orders be lodged first at the Circuit Court. How is this helpful?

Homeowners brought to the High Court are at a major disadvantage, not only is it extremely expensive but more than likely you would be less likely to be represented. Forcing lenders to go to the Circuit Court would mean that homeowners would be in a better position to save their home.

Have your say:

  • Is repossession fair in light of the recapitalisation of our banks?
There are 46 comments for this article
  1. Niamh at 11:19 pm

    I have to take issue with this comment.
    ‘Most people will cry that the banks shouldn’t have lent as much as they did as consumers we asked for the big loans because we wanted the big house, the 2 cars and the holidays.’
    I sold my house down the country, the so called distant commuter belt, to move back to Dublin, to be with my family. So my kids could visit their granny etc. Also because I fell asleep at the wheel for a split second while driving home after a night shift and woke up in a different lane.
    I paid huge money for a basic semi-d in early 2006. On a joint income of 100,000 the PTSB bank was throwing money at us. Ontop of our 414,000 mortgage they encourged us to keep our first home. This meant another borrowing of 100,000. Luckily we did not keep it. The PTSB are denying any wrong doing in that they did not need to be bailed out but they were the very ones lending on a huge scale to ordinary people. They fueled the soring house prices.

  2. Charlie M. at 1:00 am

    Hi guys it’s terrible to read of all this hardship when all anyone is trying to do is put a roof over their family’s heads.We had a similar situation back in the early 80s and we went through the same situations with the Bank’s. I remember the manager used to call me by my first name, when I started to falter on payments it became MR. and finally the letter’s were “Dear Mr ??

    At the time I lost everything, my business, marraige broke down, I owed on my mortgage £11,000.00 Bank £2,000.00 car £2,500.00 c/c £2,000 + another £5,000 . I suppose in total I owed about £30,000 in total. Ten years after that I still managed to hold on to the house and luckely the price of houses went up as we all know and the wife bought me off very cheap I’ll admit.

    I paid off every penny I owed and got myself a little car and I went out gardening, over a period of 15 years I built up my business and bought a house with the proceeds of my work and a mortgage. In all the years since my marraige broke up I never took a holiday. When the work was there I took it, and I saved, and saved for the rainy day’s.

    There’s an old saying “cut your cloth according to it’s measure”. Sit down with your partner if your still lucky to have one with all the pressure we go through, that’s the first sigh of the strength of a couples relationship. Remember when money goes out the door love goes out the window. If you have anything that you can sell get cash for it. Ask the Bank to take only interest on the mortgage, try and get your monthly payments down to a minimum. Stop smoking / drinking and buying little sorry for yourself treats. Just get your house in order.

    If you have a reasonable enough car get a taxi plate or a hackney licence, just get your monthly out goings down to the absolute minimum. You’ll be suprised how much you can trim off that budget if you try. Only you can bring down these costs, only you and your family can go through this hard time together as a family.
    In the end you will be a far better family for the experience and be a stronger unit for it.Remember no one has to know your troubles as long as you all stick together. Good Luck to you all!

  3. Sandra at 7:18 pm

    What are people going to do if not attempt to buy their own homes? It should be a basic expectation that we can be housed affordably and independently. And when buyers are owner-occupiers, they are not the ones who are forcing prices up. It is the investors who force up prices at the expense of regular people who just need a roof over their heads. The alternative to buying is going into renters hell, and anyone who has rented will know what I mean.Many, many people who have houses for renting do not care at all what the standards are like; they think anything is good enough for renters. And renters, after all, are mainly only people who can’t afford inflated prices. We should all be out in the streets demonstrating for the right to live decently and affordably. But people who can’t afford inflated prices on their mortgages are so decent and moral that they are actually trying to meet these bills, even though they may have lost their jobs, and such. We should not allow the profiteers to keep on getting away with it. History will be appalled at how we rescued the banks while they kept on dishing out gargantuan bonuses to their big guys. Too many people are overpaid, and overprofited, and far, far too many people are poor and struggling. One thing we should demand of our government right now, is to force developers and profiteers and landlords and such speculators to pay realistic amounts of tax on their profits. Why should we take it for granted that the rich get richer. That is not ok. We should fight for a more equable system, not just for taxpayers, but for everyone.

  4. James at 11:41 pm

    This data is very old. The figure of 14,000 was confirmed by the regulator from data up to June 2008

    Standard and Poors have estimated that around 4% of mortgages are in arrears, or about 40,000.

  5. Steph at 5:07 pm

    I agree with Jake “for years we have had to put up with inept government ministers and policy makers whose primary interest was to line their own pockets and to cream every penny they could from the public coffers”.
    This government are inept, they have made a mess of it, I thought we wanted a general election?? I would be VERY interested in a movement for taxpayers rights. I have no faith in our government because I firmly believe they do not have our best interests at heart, or the best interests of the country. I blame the government incompetence, developers greed, banks incompetence and our foolishness for allowing them to do this. Nobody should have their home repossesed due to this massive bubble burst. How did they not see it coming? if it goes up it must also go down, now all of us are looking around at each other with gum on our faces just some have a lot more than others.

  6. Dolores at 11:45 pm

    The answer is quiet simply …NO!! Houses should not be repossessed in light of recapitialisation. The banks should accept responsibility in that it provided mortgages at the time up to six times what a person earned. At the time it was based on the persons ability to pay not according to salary (2.5 times your earnings when I took out my mortgage). Tbe banks view at the time was that rents were high (and you were getting tax relief on this), therefore you could afford your own property,in an ever inflated market.

    The question is…howcome Social Welfare (SW)is happy to assist landlords with having their property paid for yet they refuse to help homeowners. I believe SW will only assist you paying Intrest Only..funny, they can’t apply the same logic for landlords!! Again the old adage, the rich get richer etc,!!

    Help needs to be provided by government and banks so that everyone can afford to keep their homes. Every Irish national is entitled to a roof over their heads. Some dignity should be afforded instead of the negative commentry I’ve read about living beyond ones means!

    Spare a thought for those who are homeless! This country and its government have alot to answer for.

  7. Jim at 5:48 pm

    Roykelly I think you are doing the right thing look after your family and let the banks sort out the mortgage mess. Hope some work turns up soon !!!

  8. AMM at 5:44 pm

    I am sick of all the TV shows with their property experts saying I told you so, I agree with roykelly I hope the TV/News see what real people think for a change, write about our opinions. Roy I hope you get a job soon best of luck with your job hunting.


    P.S. Great blog will be checking back soon

  9. roykelly at 5:38 pm

    Hi Avril

    I would also be interested in any movement to protect people in this downturn. After all we helped create the massive wealth of the past few years, I cant believe it is all gone now.

  10. roykelly at 5:36 pm

    Replying to LD:

    I have to say I was shocked by your comment, here is my situation, I have worked for the past 18 years never out of work, must have paid hundreds of thousand in tax at this stage, never miss a loan or mortgage repayment in my life, I unfortunatly lost my job 7 months ago, and have been trying every day since to get a new one. I have a family of 4, one car and a mortgage of €350K, which you could hardly call an excessive lifestyle. I get just over 1K per month from the government however my mortgage is €1,265, car load is €350 (which I cant get rid of) and we need food to live which comes to another €1K per month.

    As you can see I dont have the money to pay my mortgage and live, I asked the bank for help but instead they call me most days and write every week to tell me that I will be brought to court if I dont start making payments. I have no problem with the fact that I owe the money, in fact as soon as I land a job I will start paying it off but the manner in which I am being treated is like someone trying to scam the bank.

    I think this article from MyHome has highlighted a very important issue which needs to be discussed I hope someone from the TV or press read this and investigates further.

    Lastly, I know it is not the banks fault I lost my job but we are all human a little bit of compassion would be great !!

  11. LD at 12:36 am

    Well well well didn’t we all just think we were going to stay rich forever or are we just the most ignorant people on earth! I know a co-worker that bought an immensely over valued €400,000 home on a 100% mortgage a couple of years ago that won’t sell right now for €295,000. She can’t afford the mortgage and she is thinking of just walking away from it. Sad story except one thing. She couldn’t afford the mortgage in the first place. She never had the money to buy it from day one. But she didn’t care; she just wanted to get on the property ladder because isn’t that what we all wanted? Weren’t we all being told ” Buy Buy Buy, property prices are going up and you better get one while you can” Weren’t we all told about the housing shortage? Weren’t we all fed a load of nonsense and didn’t we all believe it? During the Boom you could sell us anything and we were all happy to buy it. We bought over valued homes, changed our autos constantly and €200 cell phones for our 8 year olds (we now have a country full of spoiled brat lazy whingy teenagers to prove it). Meanwhile the agents and builders and solicitors got fat on our naivite. Bully for them, they were smart and we were stupid. We can blame the banks all we want for loaning 100% mortgages to anybody that walked into their businesses, but the borrower has to take responsibility also. You can whinge all you want about the mean old banks but when we took their mortgages (aka their money) we did so of our own free will. Anyone that says the banks are being unfair is grossly naive. It is our own greed and stupidity that caused this mess. Get real Ireland, if someone told you to stick your wet finger in a live socket would you do it or would you use your brain and think well that may not be a wise choice? Did these mortgagees think before they bought? The banks don’t need to be fair, if you owe them money they are well within their right to reposses your home if you don’t pay. Read your contracts. Do you really believe a bank is going to say “that’s okay Paddy you don’t have to pay back the money you borrowed, take however long you need”. You’d have every Paddy stop paying their mortgages if that were the case. How many of you whingers would tell someone that personally borrowed €400,000 off yourselves “it’s okay take your time and pay me back on your terms”. Banks are not charities. Banks need to go after the people that don’t pay their mortgages and the builders that don’t pay their loans equally hard. I have no sympathy for someone that does not pay back what they owe regardless of who they are. It’s called stealing.

  12. elizabeth at 9:37 pm

    who ever said that we are not sheep, are totally wrong, we will do and have always done exactly what we are told to do by our bosses/government. when the taxes are to be paid be it for what ever reason, we are literally queing up to be the first to pay. nothing will ever change so you may as well get on with it and get to the top of that queue and be the first there.

  13. Mick at 8:46 pm

    I agree Louise in other countries the government is not so quick to try and save people who clearly were extremely bad at their jobs and now not only have they been able to keep their jobs but they have the cheek to pass their pressure down onto people who have lost their jobs.

    Dont get me wrong if you are just not paying your mortgage because you have an excessive life style then you deserve to lose it but for the others who have lost everything I think the banks should restructure the debt and the monthly payments to help

  14. mags at 4:52 pm

    i think that seeing as the taxpayer is bailing out the banks,itso time for the banks to play ball they are cherry picking who they are helping out because of investment choices they have made and companies that they are involved with! why are there no heads rolling why is it the same bad manegement awarding themself huge bonouses,the ordinary house repossesion are easy fry ,the banks should be made refinance these people loans and to be honest they are forcing people into the gutter because there are not playing ball with small sme either the whole thing is a shmples and the govt are not helping thinking up new levys by the day 1% levies on life insuarnce policy omn mortgages when people have no choice but to have one if they want a mortgage

  15. JP q at 3:41 pm

    I don’t think that bailing out of the banks is the answer to problem. They are the one who started all these mess, because of their greed.
    I am not saying that Irish government is wrong in tackling these issues, but how unacceptable it is to us taxpayers to glorify the villains as if even rewarding them for all these mess. Secondly, they are slaughtering the geese that lays the golden eggs, “how far could the two brians go”.
    Very disgusting indeed thus, most of us who acquired mortgages only wish are to have our own roof over our head. It is fast becoming a domino effect phenomenon, which surely will not have a happy ending.

  16. John at 1:57 pm

    What a load of twaddle. Look, economics is ruled by supply and demand. If demand(house seekers)were not so stupidly greedy the suppliers(builders)would not have to bother the banks for development loans. Both sides of the equation became intoxicated with cheap money and effectively proved that they cannot be trusted with it. House seekers who continued to bid up prices in what was clearly a “tulip” market must take responsibility for their folly and stop carping at the government; should the government have mother-henned these people and saved them from themselves? If instead they had decided to speculated wildly on the stock market should the government somehow have prevented them from harming themselves? The people who have a legitimate grievance are those who contributed nothing to this bubble by refusing to be drawn in to it but yet will pay extra tax for years to come for the utter folly of others.

  17. louise witter at 10:53 am

    I would be taking action in a movement IRISH TAX PAYERS RIGHTS. We need to stand up and stop this unfairness.In Ireland are Robin hood (lenihan ) is robbing the poor to give to the rich.

  18. louise witter at 10:43 am

    I would be taking action in a movement IRISH TAX PAYERS RIGHTS. We need to stand up and stop this unfairness.In Ireland are Robin hood (lenihan ) is robbing the poor to give to the rich.

  19. louise witter at 10:23 am

    I would give back the keys of my home gladly but you can t just do that.There has to be a financial penalty from the lenders or half of Ireland would be doing so.Can somebody explain to me how a lender can put up there rates just like that putting even more pressure on the home owners.Why can t the government put a stop to this because we know other lenders will follow.

  20. Mickey at 2:08 am

    I think ye are all mad. The BAnks and developers ( God Bless them ) are terribly misunderstood. I think the Government are doing a great job in getting this country back on its feet again. House Prices are on the way up again which is great news because we can get more credit now to buy even more expensive houses. I dont know whats wrong with people who turn their noses up at discounts on house prices of at least 100euro if not more off the original price of 2.5 million euro for a nice house in a good area close to all amenities, sure what more do ye want?, sure arnt ye getting great value for money as the Auctioneer said? . They are genuine trustworthy people just like solicitors are, and they never do anything wrong or never lie about anything. I know because I saw some of their Holy Communion pictures. Dont belive the papers, they just lie about the poor bankers because the journalists are failed Barbara Cartland type novelists who take their frustrations out on the innocents ( bankers developers auctioneers etc.), yes , they are innocent bye standers of greed from Civil servants, who should all be made go on the dole so as to save the state a lot of money which can be used in turn to help the banks and developers. All social welfare spongers like unemployed, pensioners,jobseekers etc should be made to contribute to the country instead of whinging about their circumstances. It is not nice to listen to that especially when one has to go shopping in Grafton Street. My Auctioneer told me I better buy now or I will be sorry.This is good advice and people should pay heed to what IBEC, Auctioneers, Bankers, Solicitors, Priests and the Government are saying., otherwise ye will all be sorry. Just do as ye are told and shut up. Ireland is doing well and you should be proud of Ireland we are a great bunch of people.The Taoiseach said this, so he is not always right but he is NEVER wrong.!! They ( the above professions) wont put ye wrong and ye should be greatful for the small fee they charge for this valuable advice. The Developers are great because they build houses and appartments for us at very competitive prices, ground floor studio apartments in stabville costing a mere E750,000 and thats good value and I know it is because my auctioneer told me. Better buy now before its too late folks or ye will be sorry. Prices are and can only go up in value. Thank GOD An Bored Plamausa are turning Planning around and stamping out those people who build extentions to their houses and instead grant permission for Developers who want to build where they like. I think Bonus payment should be only given to the Top Directors of Banks and that the minimum wage should be cut to 49cent per hour in order to give business a helping hand. WE ALL HAVE TO BEAR THE PAIN and what is more WE ARE HAPPY to do that. I know we are happy to do it because I heard a girl on the telly say it so it must be true.So shut up the lot of ye. Appraise the Banks Developers and Government who are out to ensure your own good. Ye ungreatful shower of pups. Mickey O Eireann.Member of Buchalli Deas na hEireann.

  21. Breda at 12:25 am

    The logic of some of these comments leaves me totally baffled. I speak for the PAYE worker who has worked all his/her life and paid/still pay the taxes that bailed out the Banks. There is no logic to the statement that these same taxpayers should now be deprived of their homes because of lack of funds due to unemployment/recession caused by greedy people who got rich on the backs of these same workers. What do you suggest these people do? They are threatened with eviction from the homes they slaved to purchase in the first instance because they would not be housed by Government due to having a hard earned salary (all taxes paid). They have had to look on at other people being able to purchase their Council Houses for half nothing and expensive houses being purchased by Government Agencies for Illegal Immigrants, Travellers etc. How much more do you think they can take. Incidentally I am one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have a mortgage because I spent my whole life paying one off and being taxed to the hilt at the same time which gives me a clear understanding of what it’s like for these unfortunate people. So come on all you lucky people and show some christian charity towards the real taxpayers of your country

  22. Catherine at 10:50 pm

    I agree totally..the Banks after all are also business and if they cannot run them ..then then they should fold exactly like they are treating their customers . They should have seen the writing on the wall..and planned for the future…no the Government should not have used tax payers money to bail them out…Like any other business they must learn to conduct their businesses properly and if not let the ones that can do it…

  23. andy at 9:56 pm

    Here is an unpopular perspective but one never the less. all of those people who are now winging cos their investment has lost value should remember they were’nt winging when they thought they were on to a winner and were going to make packet. ( investments can go up as well as down is what all should have known when greadily thinking they could live for ever on credit and money that did not exist. yes banking system made serious errors and should be held accountable but the market was powered by the greed of investors and celtic tiger riders,

  24. Chris Brennan at 8:11 pm

    I see the point that you are trying to make Fergal but the problem that began was not that ordinary people were borrowing too much money that they could not repay but it was the banks that were transferring billions onto the balance sheet of other banks to prop up its financial stability when the auditors were in to mask their own directors personal loans of ridiculous amounts ( Research the transactions between PTSB and Anglo Irish Bank for the background on this). Also it was the banks taking huge risks in lending high profile developers billions of euro’s on overpriced land to develop when they would have to wait months, possibly years for the site to be developed, built and then eventually sold while all the time being at the risk that the site in question may go down in value and end up as a bad loan anyway. It was not the wee working class that took out a few thousand for a new car or the ordinary family with 2 children that took out Eur300K for a house that caused it. The reason why people cannot afford to repay the banks the debts they owe is that they are losing their jobs because the banks are waiting on billions to be repaid by developers and property speculators therefore they have no cash to lend cash-strapped business to help work through an economic depression which in turn must lay off workers through the cash drying up which leaves people without jobs and without money to repay their loans that they took out in good faith believeing that the people at the top of the food chain wouldn’t be corrupt enough to cause such problems that exist today.

    And as for the general point of repossessions? People took out loans of 300K on a house that is worth possibly 150K now. Would it not be a more prudent business idea not to repossess the house but to come to an accomodation with the debtor to ensure that the value of the full amount lent would be paid but at a rate that the debtor could afford and that the bank will be happy to receive? As it is, when the repossession occurs the bank would still have to write off over half the value of the loan, this way they will still get it but over a longer term. Also, a council in England with British Government funding has come up with a novel way of sorting this problem out. A trial run has been done that the council will buy a bad debt off a bank at near the full value of the remaining mortgage. In turn they will allow the owner to repay a lower monthly fee until they are back on their feet and can start making up for time lost on their mortgage. This way the bank writes off very little, the government does without the need for any NAMA type of structure to ever have to get involved with residential cases and no-one is on the streets as the person who will eventually own the house is a taxpayer living in a house taxpayers money just bought! Everyone is happy (Until the overbonused, oversalaried bankers make another mess for us to bail them out of.)

    Apologies to all for the lenght of this but being of an opinionated family not alligned to a “In-Government” party it sickens me the stories I hear and, like everyone else, must have a say.

  25. noel at 8:02 pm

    liquidate all capitalist scum, profiteers and the crony corrupted. LOOK AFTER FAMILIES, PEOPLE AND CHILDREN.

  26. Cliona Connolly-Devoy at 8:02 pm

    No it is definitely not fair. Our government is the source of the problem, The more they tax us the less we can afford on our mortgages. They should be helping people in this time of crisis not laying more taxes on them, which will most certainly leave them with even more financial problems.

  27. Francois at 7:17 pm

    I have little sympathy for people who overspent on credit and now find they can’t pay back their loans. They pushed prices up and made it so much harder for everyone else to buy decent property. They were fools and they are part of the reason the whole economy collapsed.

  28. noor ahmed at 6:05 pm

    Since long time analysts were prediscting that house market is going to collapse. The reasons they put were a lot but some main points were very obvious. Builders overpriced the house. Auctioneer gave them the false impression of demand of housing. Bankers passed the secrets to auctioneer and builder about the financial status of its customers. Bankkers played with its customers by giving them false hope of increasing trend in market. Mean time ruling party were enjoying jet life style, dinner and wine on the expenses of builders and banking institution. Now the Celtic tiger is in cardiac arrest situation gasping and beyond resuscitation. I have a bad news “he can not survive”. Tax payer give your money to resuscitate tiger but we know he cannot survive. Who is responsible for all these crises……………….YES RULING PARTY THEY KEPT THEIR EYES CLOSED AND SHARED THE MONEY

  29. Ann Maxwell at 5:42 pm

    I am in the lucky position of owening my House.That aside I cannot understand what the Banks have to gain by repossing houses in the present climate. There are Thousands of new houses on the market and no buyers for them,(the banks are not very forthcoming with New morgages). Not to mention the ones that are lying un finished around the country.Would it not be better for the banks to come to a Renting arrangment with thier customers, with a long term view to these people being able to restart thier Repayments when thier situtation improves.My final comment is this situation would never have come about except for the unscrupless dealings of Estate agents (Forcing people into a bidding war against one another)and the Banks with nothing else in minde but thier own inflated profit margins.

  30. Aidan Weldon at 5:22 pm

    Do what the homeowners did in London in the late 80’s – hand back the keys to an over inflated mortgage – take out a new one (when the price drops to sensible values (Meanwhile, improve your credit rating by taking out small loans and paying them back promptly whilst waiting patiently) and leave the idiotic banks to steam in the misery of debt?. It is actually very easy and you could save hundreds of thousands of yo yo’s in the process.

  31. Michelle Maiben at 4:49 pm

    Hi Avril

    I would be interested in getting a movement going. I am sick of complaining and doing nothing about it. We need to take a stand.

  32. MauiPete at 4:42 pm

    If you can’t pay, you can’t stay.

    That’s what a mortgage agreement is. Banks are not in the business of providing social housing irrespective of their or your financial position. If times are tight, get a second job if you want to keep the house. Until the note to the bank is paid its not your house anyway, the bank owns it.

  33. Jake at 4:31 pm

    I believe that we are at a crossroads in the developement of our state – for years we have had to put up with inept government ministers and policy makers whose primary interest was to line their own pockets and to cream every penny they could from the public coffers, “Fiddling While Rome Burns” takes on a whole new meaning in the light of recent revelations. These same incompetents, who messed up our economy in the first place, are now somehow deemed competent to bring in new measures which will rectify their earlier mistakes!!! Does nobody else see the irony in this?? The definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing and to expect a different result – the electorate in Ireland have been doing that for years – maybe its time we did away with the PR system in order to ensure that we do actually get who we vote for.
    You can be assured that when all this blows over we will be listening to messers Cowen, Lenihan et al crowing on about how the saved Mother Ireland from the brink with their ground breaking policies and forward thinking – the fact that we will be all living in cardboard boxes huddled together for warmth will be conveniently forgotten. Homeowners in Ireland have already paid direct tax and numerous stealth taxes on their homes, they have paid stamp duty and have recently lost the tax relief on the mortgage interest – how much more do they expect us to bear? We now face the “appalling vista” of the more and more repossessions and foreclosures with families being turfed out to the side of the road -where do they go then – temporary accommodation and council housing – paid for by whom? – THE TAX PAYER

  34. ronan at 3:47 pm

    I agree with Fergal and he hit the nail on the head. We were all in the same situation and had the same choices. Yes, i am still lucky to be working but in no small part due to the fact that i upskilled during the boom time, realising that it couldnt last. We do not live in a nanny state, where we are all wrapped in cotton wool by our loving father-like politicians. Life is tough – i for one will not be looking for someone to blame if i lose my house. We are all responsible for our own destiny. Yes do what we can to ease peoples burden but not if it sinks the country!!

  35. Orla at 2:59 pm

    I think its a simplistic view assuming that all house purchasers – couldn’t affort their home / and have 2 cars and x no of holidays etc.

    It may be a case that those houses being repossessed or mortgages in arrears are due to either or both of the owners losing their jobs. And with more and more losing their jobs, its inevitable that more home owners will struggle to pay their loans.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately it will not sort out any of the problems we face going forward.

  36. Fergal at 2:47 pm

    People forget that the Banks currently have a moratorium as listed in the article [quote]Since February of this year there have been two separate freezes on following up unpaid mortgage payments; one for BOI & AIB which will stay in place until February 2010 and a second freeze of six months for all other lenders – which has now ended.

    If you were left for 6 months without being paid for work done, would you have the same level of sympathy?. I appreciate this is a simplistic view, however, the more the banks have to write off for forgiven debts be they developer loans or Residential Mortgage, the more re-capitalisation is required.

    Bear in mind that the re-capitalisation has come with an Interest rate repayable to the government (or more specifically, the NPRF).

    Also, as previously mentioned by Rob, all were involved in this lunacy. People insisted on spending more, having the finest house and a new car every year on the never never. If you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t borrow to spend for it. Cheap credit and people losing the run of themselves on seemingly new found wealth, or rather easy acess to funds, has been the greater cause of this. The Banks willingness to fuel this lunacy in line with the rest of their peers elsewhere and to make sure the Shareholders were satisfied with performance is where their responsibility is.

    People are always looking to blame someone else. “The Bank Should never have lent me the money” is a lazy way of ignoring ones own responsibilities.

  37. ronan at 2:43 pm

    While i agree that there should be some leniency or understanding regarding people in difficulties making mortgage payments, I have to say that many people made very poor investment decisions and property purchases during the celtic tiger era. If i had taken out a 100% mortgage or had a 200,000 mortgage, i would not have been able to sleep at night for worry about paying it off – and this was when things were truly flying. I get a little bit sick of people complaining about the governments responsibility for personal situations – at what point do people take responsibility for their actions?? We are not sheep and should take responsibilities for our actions too. While i feel sorry for people in dire straits and agree that some actions should be taken, these people signed up to the mortgage they took out. The rest of us, who “cut our cloth to suit our measure” should not be asked to break our backs to subsidise those who made poor purchasing decisions. I’m not saying that we shouldnt step in but perhaps some people just cannot afford to own their own home at this moment in time??

  38. Daniel Duggan at 2:40 pm

    Yes, it is fair to repossess houses when a borrower cannot repay his or her loan, as the loan have been taken out in full knowledge of the terms and conditions applicable. If the tables were turned and a bank wished to wiggle out of their contractual obligations the howls of protest from homeowners would be heard loudly throughout the country.
    The effort to protect those defaulting on home loans is along with NAMA part of a broad-based effort by the property industry to place an artificial floor under property prices thereby maintaining them as close as possible to the unrealistic and unaffordable levels seen in recent years.
    The Irish property crisis is not that prices are finally falling; it is that they were allowed to go so high. A 20% cash deposit and loans at 3 times the highest income of the applicants would soon bring some discipline to this ridiculous situation where the properly industry has hood-winked much of the gullible public into believing that high property prices are somehow in their best interests. Low property prices mean lower wages for a similar standard of living and a competitive economy, the prerequisite for an economic recovery.

  39. Avril Smith at 2:39 pm

    Most working people have had to take a drop of 10% or 20% in the Salary – will the banks allow us working, tax payers this cut off our mortgage? It should be standard practice.

    No one, wants to see any person or family loose their home – they should be allowed to defer all payments for 12 to 24 months to give them some breathing space and add this on at the other end. It makes sense to leave people in need with their homes, their pride and time to sort out their financial difficulties.

    There is plenty of money to go round – but it must start going around instead of into the a sinking ship.

    As a nation we are far to quite – we put up with total abuse from the Government and the Banks – it is time to take action as ITPRM- Irish Tax Payers Rights Movement. ( for All PAYE and SElf employed people)

    Anyone interested in getting a Movement going to ensure us TAXPAYERS are not going to take any more!

  40. Kieran at 2:34 pm

    This is for all of you who named those calling for change and restraint at the height of the Tiger “nay-sayers” & “Bertie Bashers”. Thanks to those who repeatedly voted in the same crew again and again, we find ourselves in this situation. Ireland would not have escaped the recession but we would not have been in such dire straits had there been some reason in government and the banks and had there been some real regulation going on in the Financial Regulator’s office. Sadly, neither happened and while that lot go off to rest on their many & lush State pensions or golden handshakes, the rest of us scrabble to pay mortgages which are 50% higher than the house that they’re taken out on is worth. Where is all the money that the banks & the builders made when the boom was booming? Ansbacher MkII anyone? As for repossession, it’s a reality but God knows what the banks are going to do with the houses. They’d be better off working out payment plans, which is by and large what they’re probably doing as only 200-odd repossessions were ordered. It surprises me more that people aren’t queuing up at the banks to hand their keys in and get the mortgage monkey off their backs!

  41. Niamh at 2:32 pm

    This whole economic downturn is a direct result of the housing boom. The bankers and developers have ruined this country and as part of restabilisation and trying to keep Ireland Inc a competitive place to do business, the banks were bailed out. Now they are not playing ball with the small people who are their everyday customers who are expected to find the money somewhere,somehow to pay the banks so that the vaults are overflowing again. The majority of these normal people have already taken a hit in the form of taxation charges, income levies and losing their jobs altogether. Anyone could have said to the Minister for finance that the tax reciepts for the year are going to be well down even on what they expected and now they want to take away the roofs over our heads? Where will this end?

  42. Rob at 2:31 pm

    It’s not a yes or no issue and shouldn’t be treated with such simplicity. I agree that as the tax-payer is propping up the banks it would seem crass for them not to so some gratitude and refrain from repossessions for a reasonable period of time, 12 – 18 months.

    However, if a mortgage holder goes into arrears and makes no effort to work through the problem with the lending institution then all bets should be off. As soon as a problem arises the owners need to get advice and put a plan of action in place. And if the lender is not willing to help the owner then the loan goes to NAMA for a reduced amount and the owner works with them.

    Most people will cry that the banks shouldn’t have lent as much as they did as consumers we asked for the big loans because we wanted the big house, the 2 cars and the holidays.

  43. Bernie at 2:30 pm

    I think the banks and the government shoudl be absolutely ashamed of themselves for allowing this ridiculous situation happen in this country. The banks should never have lended the money that they did like the propery developers and high risk borrowers. They are the reason that we are in the situation we are in and yet again it is the normal working class people who have to suffer while they are getting the money handed to them from the government.
    Surely as they are using the tax payers money to bail them out then we should have a say as to whether or not the homes should go up for repossession.
    Shame on the banks and shame on the government for allowing any of the cases to get to court.
    Lets see how quick the government are to chase the debits that we have bought off the banks, i wonder will any of the possessions of those people be taken from them!!!!!
    its an absolute disgrace

  44. b doherty at 2:21 pm

    Reposessions should be deferred until investigation has occured why the owner has failed to make repayments. The effect on the economy may be further burdened if the owner has to be re-housed etc causing further strain on national resourced. The final decision should be made by an indepent adjuciator

  45. Samantha at 2:19 pm

    Is repossession fair in light of the recapitalisation of our banks? NO!!! As part of bailing out the banks, the government should force the banks to pass on the help to the homeowners and not allow houses to be repossessed! The government is taxing all of us to bail out the banks, we are losing our jobs, and we are all broke…and now you are going to make us homeless on top of it?? Who is bailing out the taxpayer?

  46. Alan at 1:44 pm

    At christmas there was a real worry that our banking system might go to the wall, and this would have had a huge effect on the normal guys and girls working in the bank, with the tax payers help the system is on the road to recovery and bank jobs have been saved however I think it is SHOCKING how bad support is from the banks to local businesses, most overdrafts are being called in, no loans are being approved and their debt collection manner on the phones is just bizzard.

    I would like to think that they would help out other failing industries in their time of need, like the car industry which employes alot more people than the banking sector.

    In relation to property I think the government should step in and say that no homes will be repossessed where the homeowner is making some effort.

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