herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Editorial: Mortgage nightmares coming true

THE High Court was the setting for yet another grim legacy of the Celtic Tiger era when more families lost their homes after falling into huge arrears on their mortgage payments.

It was a sad end to their dreams of homes of their own. But, as is often the case these days, a willingness to work hard cannot guarantee people will keep up the payments.

The people in court yesterday will not be the last. By one estimate, more than 30,000 mortgage holders are in arrears of over three months.

Many are in a similar situation, working hard to pay a mortgage for a house now worth a fraction of what they paid for it.

In February, the Financial Regulator ruled that all lenders must refrain from starting repossession proceedings for at least a year from the date of the borrower's first payment arrears.

It gives some breathing space, but promised extended protection is urgently needed or we will see more heartbreak for hard-pressed home owners.

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