Government have continually failed to get a grip on mortgage crisis

Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson has described the 50% increase in the number of number of court orders for sale or repossession of a family home in the first quarter of the year as clear evidence of an alarming escalation in the loss of family homes. He was speaking following the publication of the Central Bank’s Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossessions Statistics for Q1 2015. The data also showed a 10% increase in the quarter in legal proceedings issued to enforce the debt/security on a residential mortgage.

Deputy McGrath commented, “We are now reaping the effects of four years of government inaction on mortgage arrears. In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of ministerial announcements with the purpose of giving the impression of action. However, it will be months yet before any legislative changes are implemented. In the meantime, hundreds of families are being brought through the courts and face imminent risk of losing their home. This is as a direct result of the government consistent refusal to listen to advice on this issue.

“The state of the sub-prime sector is truly shocking. More than 50% of these mortgages are in arrears and 25% are greater than two years behind in their payment. The situation is showing no sign of improvement. I have regularly highlighted the need for specific action in relation to these loans which were issued outside the mainstream banking sector. One possible course of action is a dedicated mortgage to rent scheme to tackle the sky high level of arrears in the sub-prime sector.

“The number of arrears cases greater than two years continues to rise. These families are at the most acute risk of losing their homes and the promised legislation to end the bank veto is urgently needed to assist these families. There is still considerable doubt about the quality of restructurings that are being offered to families, many of these are little more than sticking plaster solution. Innovative arrangements such as split mortgages are only being offered in a small number of cases. There is a continuing need for a complete culture change on the part of the banks in how they deal with customers and an independent mortgage resolution process to ensure that fair treatment is given to families.”