Press Release 19 May 2011
The Central Bank today publishes the latest data on mortgage arrears and repossessions for the period ended March 2011. The figures show that 6.3% of private residential mortgage accounts are in arrears for more than 90 days.
Director of Consumer Protection, Bernard Sheridan, urged consumers struggling with mortgage repayments, or at risk of falling into difficulty, to contact their lender as early as possible so that they can benefit from the protections offered by the Central Bank’s revised Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears. He said: ‘Households should not struggle to deal with their mortgage payments or arrears on their own. Mortgage lenders must work with their customers to help them through their difficulties and, where appropriate, agree a manageable and sustainable solution. The continued increase in restructuring arrangements shows that more borrowers are availing of the benefits and protections offered to them through our revised mortgage arrears rules, which came into effect in January and with which lenders must comply.’
The figures show that at the end of March 2011 there were 782,429 private residential mortgage accounts held in the Republic of Ireland to a value of almost €116 billion. Of these, 49,609 accounts, or 6.3%, were in arrears for more than 90 days. This compares with 44,508 accounts (5.7% of total) that were in arrears for more than 90 days at the end of December 2010. The data shows that overall mortgage debt outstanding for private residential mortgages decreased by €725.6 million since the fourth quarter of 2010.
The figures also show there was a total stock of 62,936 residential mortgage accounts that were categorised as restructured at the end of March 2011. Of this total 36,662 are not in arrears and are performing as per the restructured arrangement. The balance of restructured accounts (26,274) have arrears of varying categories (arrears both less than and greater than 90 days). Therefore, 86,271 accounts are either in arrears greater than 90 days or have been restructured and are not in arrears as at the end of March 2011.
The Central Bank has also published a guide for consumers on the new mortgage arrears code and a frequently asked questions document which are available on the website at: Consumer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions.
Note on Data on Restructuring
It should be noted that the number of restructured accounts with arrears at the end of March 2011 does not indicate the level of mortgages that have slipped back into arrears after initial restructuring. In other words, the 26,274 restructured accounts that are in arrears are comprised of loans that had arrears both prior to restructuring (but are now performing according to the new arrangement), and those loans that have slipped back into arrears post restructuring. Furthermore, the increase of 3,707 in the total stock of restructures from the end of December 2010 is not due exclusively to new restructures in the quarter, as some restructuring arrangements that would have been in place at the end of December 2010 have expired by the end of March 2011. As a result, those accounts whose arrangements expired at some point in the first quarter of 2011 are not included in the overall stock at the end of March 2011.
1. Arrears Data
As at the end of March 2011, there were 49,609 mortgage accounts in arrears for more than 90 days. Of these there were 35,341 mortgage accounts, or 4.5% of the total outstanding mortgage accounts, more than 180 days in arrears. In value terms, €9.6 billion was owed in relation to all accounts more than 90 days in arrears, of which €7.0 billion was owed on accounts more than 180 days in arrears. The number of mortgage accounts in arrears for more than 90 days at the end of March 2011 increased by 11.5% since the end of December 2010. This rate of increase has grown from the 10% increase that took place from the end of Quarter 3 2010 to the end of Quarter 4 2010.
6,658 formal demands issued by lenders were outstanding at the end of March 2011; a 14.6% increase from the 5,812 formal demands outstanding at the end of December 2010. The 6,658 formal demands contained arrears amounting to €124.4 million on outstanding mortgages totalling €1.3 billion.
There was a decrease of 2.9% in the number of outstanding arrears cases where court proceedings had been issued to enforce the debt/security on the mortgage to 2,984 at the end March 2011. The arrears value on such cases increased slightly by 1.8% to stand at €108.7 million on outstanding mortgages totalling €752.2 million.
2. Court Proceedings
During the quarter ended March 2011, mortgage lenders applied to Court to commence proceedings to enforce the debt/security in 175 cases. This is a decrease of 41.1% on the number of cases reported in the quarter ended December 2010, and these 175 cases comprised arrears totalling €6.6 million built up on mortgage loans equating €71.6 million.
During this quarter, 231 court proceedings were concluded. Of these, the Courts granted orders for possession/sale in 136 cases which included 13 orders to perfect the title because properties were voluntarily surrendered and 12 orders because the properties were abandoned. The remaining 111 orders were obtained to enforce the debt/security on a mortgage. In the 95 cases where no orders for possession/sale were obtained, 37 were settled by renegotiating the term and/or other conditions of the mortgage. The reasons why no orders for sale/possession were obtained in the remainder of these cases (58) were due to properties being voluntary surrendered, abandoned or that the court proceedings were settled on other terms.
At the beginning of the first quarter of 2011, mortgage lenders held a stock of 585 repossessed residential properties. A further 140 were repossessed during the quarter of which 49 were repossessed on foot of Court Orders and 91 were repossessed following voluntary surrender or abandonment. These 140 repossessions compare with 106 repossessions that took place in the fourth quarter of 2010. A total of 33 properties were disposed of during the quarter ended March 2011; down from 42 property disposals in the fourth quarter of 2010. Mortgage lenders held 692 repossessed residential properties at the end of March 2011.
There was a total stock of 62,936 residential mortgage accounts classified as restructured at the end of March 2011; a 6.3% increase from the 59,229 reported at the end of December 2010. The stock at the end of March 2011 held a value of €11.0 billion and contained arrears of €169.8 million. Of this total stock of restructures, 36,662 accounts, with a value of €6.2 billion, are not in arrears as at the end of March 2011. The remaining 26,274 accounts, with an outstanding balance value of €4.9 billion, possess arrears that are both greater and less than 90 days. Interest only restructures account for the majority of the number of mortgages that have been restructured (37.3%); while reduced payments (that are either paying greater or less than interest only) also comprise a large percentage of restructures (28.2%).
By summing the number of mortgage accounts in arrears for more than 90 days reported in Section 1 above with the number of mortgage accounts performing as per the restructured arrangement (that possess zero arrears), it shows that a total of 86,271 accounts are either in arrears greater than 90 days or have been restructured due to financial distress as at the end of March 2011.
View Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossesion Statistics
View Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossesion Statistics - Trend to March 2011
 Sum of 49,609 plus 36,662