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One in 14 mortgages in 90 days' arrears

Pressure grows for a general debt amnesty as new Central Bank figures show 7.2 per cent of mortgages to be in arrears.

ONE IN FOURTEEN mortgages in Ireland is in arrears of 90 days or more, the Central Bank has said, with over five per cent of mortgage holders a full six months behind on their repayments.

The figures, published this lunchtime, show that mortgages worth almost €11 billion are in arrears, including almost €8 billion in home loans where the borrower is 180 days or more behind their schedule of repayments.

The data also shows that lenders undertook legal proceedings in 209 cases in the second quarter of 2011, trying to recoup mortgages worth over €60m.

Of the 201 legal cases concluded between April and June, 102 resulted in the court ordering that the home, or other security, be handed over to the lender. 809 homes have now been repossessed through various means by Irish lenders.

In 15 cases, lenders were given an order to repossess homes which had been abandoned by their inhabitants without settling their arrears. In another 16 cases, homeowners abandoned the property before a court order was needed.

Just under 70,000 loans have been deemed ‘restructured’, of which only half are in arrears to some degree. Interest-only restructures account for over a third of restructured loans, while 2,163 mortgage holders have been given payment moratoriums.

In almost 9,000 cases lenders have taken a part-ownership of the property in exchange for unpaid arrears, while in 9,410 cases lenders have extended the term of the mortgages.

The statistics follow government data this morning which showed that claims for Mortgage Interest Supplement are almost five times higher than in 2007, with just under 20,000 people receiving State assistance in repaying their mortgages.

Social Protection minister Joan Burton yesterday urged banks to do more in assisting struggling homeowners to manage their debts, asking for a case-by-case assessment of each borrower’s means.

Read: Claims for mortgage supplement now five times higher than in 2007 >

Read: Burton calls on banks to do more for struggling mortgage holders >

More: Writing off mortgage debt is an “emergency” >

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