13% of mortgages 90 days in arrears – SDCC

by Gazette Reporter
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FIGURES have revealed that 13% of all mortgages held with South Dublin County Council (SDCC) are more than 90 days in arrears.
The figures were revealed at last week’s council meeting, after Councillor Eamon Tuffy (Lab) asked management to provide a report on how many householders were three months in arrears.
Cllr Tuffy also asked for a report on “the approach taken by the council to work with mortgage holders who are experiencing serious difficulties”.
In response, the council revealed that 155 homeowners are more than 90 days in arrears – 13% of the 1,171 mortgages in the county.
That number is considerably down on the national local authority average, which stands at 28%.
The council said that, since October, they have used the Mortgage Arrears Resolutions Process (MARP), as laid down by the Department of Environment.
A council report said: “MARP is a framework for dealing with borrowers in arrears in a timely, efficient and flexible way, which provides mechanisms and structures for dealing with instances of arrears, and is a process designed to be fair to both the lending authority and borrower.”
The report added that the council has a dedicated mortgage arrears management team in place and that information on the council’s process can be accessed on its website at www.sdcc.ie
Cllr Tuffy said that the numbers were less than he expected. “I am not surprised that the figures are below the national average. I’m happy that the council are operating best practice in terms of mortgage arrears.
“The council are dealing with the situation as best they can. There will be the odd case where there are repossessions, but it is my understanding that those people are placed high up the housing list,” he said.
Cllr Gino Kenny (PBP) praised the council’s work with homeowners, but said that 13% was “13% too many”.
He said: “It’s quite a lot, and I’m surprised it’s not more. There are obviously many rent arrears as well, but the council is very progressive on the issue.
“The last, last, last resort for them is throwing somebody out of a house. The council are quite progressive in dealing with people when it gets to the point that they cannot pay.”
He added: “13% is still 13% too much, but I suppose it’s reflective of the economic realities in the country at the minute.
“Since I’ve been on the council, they’ve always taken the progressive option of dealing with the issue, rather than the nuclear option of removing people from their homes.”

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