More than 86,000 mortgages in arrears of more than 90 days - Central Bank

Thursday 13 December 2012 16.53
More than 86,000 private residential mortgages are in arrears of over 90 days
More than 86,000 private residential mortgages are in arrears of over 90 days

There has been an increase in the number of private residential and buy-to-let mortgages in arrears of more than 90 days according to the Central Bank.

The report on arrears and repossessions for the third quarter of 2012 shows that 86,146, or 11.3%, of private residential mortgages are in arrears of more than 90 days.

The figures look at the three months to the end of September and they compare with 81,035 or 10.6% at the end of June 2012.

The Central Bank notes, however, that the rate at which arrears figures are increasing is slowing down.

More than 80,000 of these mortgage accounts were classified as restructured by mortgage lenders.

The Central Bank also today published data on buy-to-let properties for the first time.

The figures indicate that 26,770, or 17.9%, were in arrears of more than 90 days at the end of September, an increase of nearly 2,000 from the last quarter.

There was also an increase in the numbers of mortgages in arrears of more than 180 days with the figures rising 8.2% to 67,401.

New data shows that nearly 20,000 private residential mortgage accounts are in arrears of more than 720 days at the end of September.

In total, almost 180,000 home-owners were falling behind in their mortgage payments with over 50,000 buy-to-let properties in arrears at the end of September.

Today's Central Bank figures also show that legal proceedings were issued in 466 cases during the third quarter. Court proceedings concluded in 119 cases and in 79 of these cases, the Courts granted orders for possession or sale of the property.

Banks had 944 properties in their possession at the beginning of the third quarter. Lenders took possession of 154 during this quarter of which 47 were repossessed on foot of a court order while 107 were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned. 

Over 150 properties were disposed of, while one property was reclassified as a buy-to-let property.

There were 566 buy-to-let cases where a rent receiver had been appointed at the end of September. This had happened in 103 of these cases during the third quarter. The banks had 378 in total in their possession at the start of Q3.

Mortgage crisis out of control 

David Hall, from the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, said the mortgage crisis is now fully out of control due to years of Government inaction.

"The facts show that there are 65,000 homes in arrears of 180 to 720 days. This is a startling statistic," Mr Hall said in a statement today.

He added that a "generation of Irish people is now locked into an endless battle of attrition with the banks".

The organisation believes while the introduction of the Insolvency Bill will provide a formal framework for the resolution of debts, it is fundamentally flawed.

New Beginning has warned that the latest mortgage arrears figures from the Central Bank reveal an intensifying economic crisis.

New Beginning's Ross Maguire said that any notion that the numbers are lessening fails to look at the reality. “Over 700,000 people are directly affected by this problem today. Any economic recovery in this country is impossible until this enormous social and economic issue is addressed,'' he said.

“Over 200,000 households are facing mortgage difficulty; the 11.3% increase is based on an already enormous figure, and thus percentage wise may seem much less significant. The only way we will see improvement is when these numbers are reversed”