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Almost four homes a day being repossessed – Doherty

4 June, 2015 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said that almost 4 family homes are being repossessed or surrendered each day. New figures from the Central Bank show that 351 homes were repossessed or surrendered in the first quarter of 2015. Deputy Doherty also expressed concern that the banks are relying more and more on split mortgages and arrears capitalisation when they do agree restructurings.

Deputy Doherty said:

“These figures never fail to shock. Almost 4 family homes a day are now being lost to the banks. The government has promised action but as these figures show for many it is far too late. There are a further 37,933 accounts in arrears of over 720 days and this figure keeps growing.

“The figures published today also show that when the banks do agree a restructuring, they are relying more and more an arrears capitalisation and split mortgages. These have been criticised as being among the least sustainable and equitable ways of dealing with mortgage arrears. In both cases, there is a large element of kicking the can down the road.

“Of course, the headline reduction in arrears cases is good news but when we delve a bit deeper it is clear that what is actually happening is that four families a day are losing their home and those that are being offered a deal are facing a delayed debt as they grow older or simply having their arrears accounted for as capital.

“Personal Insolvency Practitioners have contacted me to show how open to abuse some of these solutions are. For example, I have seen cases where a family are expected to live on the Insolvency Services Reasonable Living Expenses indefinitely before facing having to pay off the warehoused element of their mortgages when they retire. In many cases, this will mean losing their home.

“For four years, Fine Gael and Labour have twiddled their thumbs and once again we have the sad figures to prove it.” ENDS

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