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Dail Committee looks at loan arrears

Monday, March 31 15:47:38

Sustainable, long-term solutions to the mortgage crisis and measures to ease the burden on struggling homeowners and distressed borrowers will be on the agenda of the Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform this week.

It will hear from the Director of the Insolvency Service, as well as organisations representing perspectives of mortgage-holders.

Committee Chairman Ciaran Lynch said: "This week we will start our series of hearings on mortgage arrears and the resolution process to deal with the issue of arrears by providing long-term solutions. According to the latest figures released by the Central Bank, the numbers of homeowners in mortgage arrears of over three months has fallen for the first time in almost five years. However, those figures mask a very worrying trend in long term arrears whereby those behind in repayments by more than two years has risen. Behind these statistics are real people struggling to make ends meet. Starting on Wednesday, we will hear from a number of organisations dealing with people in mortgage arrears. It is an opportunity to be updated by frontline groups helping people in financial difficulties and for members to raise any issues or concerns they may have on the resolution of mortgage problems. Next week we will meet with executives from the four covered banks on the issue where members will have a chance to examine how they are meeting their targets to provide sustainable, long-term solutions for homeowners in arrears and that there is a consistency of approach in dealing with distressed borrowers. The Committee will also want to hear from the banks about how they are handling new mortgage loan applications. We will finish this round of hearings after Easter with a meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank."