Legal advice group react to new mortgage figures

The legal rights organisation FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) said last week, that even though the rise in mortgage debt was entirely predictable, there should be no complacency.

The legal rights organisation FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) said last week, that even though the rise in mortgage debt was entirely predictable, there should be no complacency.

Noeline Blackwell, Director General of FLAC said that there is a danger that, because they are predictable, we are no longer appalled by the continually rising number of family home mortgages in trouble. She said: “It is a huge problem now for over 100,000 households. The number of mortgages in arrears has risen by a substantial 12.6% over three months and this needs an urgent comprehensive solution.”

Paul Joyce, the organisation’s Senior Policy Researcher pointed out that “three-quarters of the mortgages labelled as troubled have been in arrears for six months or more, with the average arrears on these mortgages now €19,364.“

The organisation had earlier this week urged the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice Equality and Defence to ensure that the new personal insolvency scheme deals effectively with mortgage debt as well as unsecured debt. Mr Joyce commented: “Currently, the draft scheme of legislation largely depends on the goodwill of lenders to work. It will be very important that a person’s entire indebtedness is dealt with in the scheme and that creditors, whether secured or unsecured, should not be allowed to veto reasonable repayment plans.”