Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said new figures released today by the Department of Finance indicate that the government and banks are showing a complete lack of urgency in dealing with the mortgage crisis.
Commenting on the figures, which are for November 2013, Deputy Doherty said:
“Today’s figures are another indictment of a government which does not attach any urgency to the mortgage crisis. In the third quarter of 2013 there were over 140,000 homes in arrears.
“There is now more than ever a need for an independent body to force the banks to get real and impose sustainable arrangements if they can't or won't.
“The new figures from November show that the six main banks have only put in place long term restructuring arrangements for 17% of those in arrears of over 90 days. Furthermore they show that the number of these restructurings that are not performing has actually increased for the second month in a row. So the banks are reluctant to enter long term arrangements and when they do they often are not sustainable.
“The banks are not playing their role in resolving this crisis and the government is letting them off the hook.
“The inclusion of legal letters and threats of repossessions as sustainable solutions under the Central Bank’s Mortgage Arrears Resolution Targets scheme makes a mockery of government claims to be putting pressure on the banks.
“I do welcome the slight decreases in overall arrears but nearly three years into this government and six years on from the banking crisis the fact that 83% of arrears cases over 90 days are not in permanent restructuring is proof of a lack of urgency
“There is no urgency from Minister Noonan or the government and the banks are taking advantage of this attitude to squeeze struggling homeowners. Sinn Féin has consistently said the banks cannot be left to their own devices and today’s figures show once again that a tougher line is needed with the banks.”