Repossession rate continues worrying ascent amidst distressed families

By April 11, 2017Articles
The scenario is gloomy as thousands of families are still at risk of losing their homes. A report published by Central Bank depicts that over 5,000 homes have been repossessed since 2013 and that there is limited progress in tackling the issue. This atmosphere has triggered sparks even from the Master of the High Court.

Repossession figures are startling

The number of families kicked out of their homes is scary. From 2013 to 2016, 5,306 families have lost their homes either by court orders or by voluntary surrender. And this emotive situation does not bode well for thousands more families as 28,917 new repossession cases have been registered. However, as the legal rights group Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) reports, there are numerous cases that have been struck out and the exact figure of repossession cases presently before Circuit Courts is unavailable. According to Paul Joyce, the senior policy analyst of FLAC, this is “worrying” as it becomes impossible to understand the scale of the issue.

Arrears have increased

Even if arrears over two years have decreased a little (from 34,551 to 33,447), the average arrears increased during the last months of 2016. In fact, the figures climbed from 63,611 Euros to 65,895 Euros.

There is an absence of joined-up thinking

The Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan, has equally pinpointed at the government for failing to help people facing repossession. According to him, the government is “allowing the courts to pump people into homelessness”. He is also of the view that orders are open to challenge as courts are not abiding the EU law.

Vulture funds are preying

Naturally, this alarming situation has given rise to numerous vulture funds preying on distressed families and repossessed homes. They have now acquired 15 percent of accounts in arrears for more than two years, compared to 11 percent in 2015.

The restructuring system is failing

According to Paul Joyce, the restructuring system in place is failing as well, in such a way that it has become a trend. The senior analyst explains that approximately 1,400 split mortgages arrangements have failed to comply with the terms of the arrangement. The failure rate for capitalization of arrears has equally reached 22.5 percent. As such, Paul Joyce strongly believes that the restructuring system is highly unrealistic. He equally highlights that lenders are avoiding writing down mortgages to sustainable levels.

House prices are expected to rise in 2017

After the relaxation of deposit rules for mortgages and the first-time buyers grant regulations, it is expected that house prices are going to shoot up. An increase of 10 to 15 percent is even expected in the Dublin area. As per the figures of the most recent House Price Report, price inflation has strengthened throughout the country.

A new possible measure to ease the hurdles

Owners of unused properties might be faced with property taxes with the clear objective of pushing them to put their houses into use.


Related articles published in How to avoid repossession :

Source :

Image : Shutterstock