Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has described the latest quarterly mortgage arrears figures from the Central Bank as “very worrying”.
Deputy Doherty said:
“I welcome the slight decrease in the numbers of households in mortgage arrears. However the figures point to a ramping up of legal action by the banks. The number of legal actions they have initiated in the first quarter of the year has jumped to over 3,000; that is 34 letters a day arriving in people’s letter boxes threatening their home.
“Three years into this government ‘s term and seven years on from the economic crisis we still have a huge mortgage crisis which shows no sign of being resolved. The numbers in arrears has started to come down from its peak but still stand at nearly double the number at the time of the last general election.
“The very worrying aspect of these figures is the fact that 60,549 families have been in arrears of over a year and that figure is increasing. Over 35,000 of these families are now in arrears of over two years. This is very worrying; not only for these families but also for the wider economy as clearly these families are mired in debt.
“The government’s handling of this crisis has lacked ambition and determination. We saw an example of this yesterday when the Central Bank published unambitious targets which would leave 55% of those in arrears without agreement on a long term solution by the end of the year.
“The government must stand up for those in arrears and inject some momentum and ambition into resolving this crisis. These two factors have been sorely lacking for the past three years of this government’s term.”