Sinn Fein Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said new figures from the Department on Finance on mortgages show that 82% of struggling homeowners who are in arrears of over 90 days are still not in a permanent solution.
Deputy Doherty said:
“These figures show that there is still even at this stage a need for an independent body to step in and make reasonable deals that both the banks and customers can live with.
“Yet another set of figures on mortgage arrears show that the banks are not being realistic about providing sustainable solutions. At this rate we would be into the next decade before our mortgage crisis is over.
“This pace is dictated by banks trying to squeeze blood from a stone in many cases and from a government not willing to stand up to them.
“It is nearly a year since the Central Bank announced a set of targets for the banks to reach. We know they responded by ramping up the issuing of legal letters. I welcome the overall reduction in the number in arrears but three years into the life of this government and six years from the banking crisis a 1% reduction each month in those not in a permanent solution is far too slow.
“The fact that 82% of those with mortgage in arrears of over 90 days are not in a permanent restructuring shows that the banks are dealing with the mortgage crisis on their own terms and the government is letting them.
“We cannot afford to let the banks drag out this crisis until the next decade. Minister Noonan says that legal letters won’t count towards the targets but has failed to show that he means it. The government has talked tough but the banks have called their bluff and struggling homeowners are suffering as a result.”