New figures released by the Central Bank show that a total of 86,271 borrowers are struggling to pay their mortgage, 49,609 of which are in arrears for more than 90 days at the end of March, up from 5.7% at end of December. These mortgages total €9.6 billion, with €827 million in arrears.
Commenting on the figures Bernard Sheridan, director of consumer protection at the Central Bank, said, “Households should not struggle to deal with their mortgage payments or arrears on their own. Mortgage lenders must work with their customers to help them through their difficulties and, where appropriate, agree a manageable and sustainable solution”.
However Managing director of Select Finance Group, Trevor Grant, said the figures were very worrying and extremely disconcerting as “these homeowners are currently on relatively low interest rates which are only set to rise”. There is much concern about inflation and the certainty of future rate increases that will no doubt tip more householders into the arrears bracket and in turn increase our debt. “Whether the solution is called debt forgiveness or debt restructure, it will ultimately have to happen as the vast majority of these people will never be able to repay these mortgages,” added Ciarán Phelan, chief executive of the Irish Brokers’ Association.
Have Your Say: 86,271 borrowers struggle to pay their mortgage
- How can those in mortgage debt be supported without punishing those who were prudent?
- Is debt forgiveness the solution?