New figures released to Fianna Fáil reveal that the number of homeowners in Co. Donegal who cannot afford to pay their mortgage is higher than the national average.
Almost 15% of Donegal mortgage holders have defaulted on their mortgages, according to information obtained by Fianna Fáil through Parliamentary Questions. These figures relate to June 2014 but are the latest available.
Local TD Charlie McConalogue said the figures are proof of the extent of the mortgage crisis in Co. Donegal.
“The national average rate of mortgage default in June was 11.8% but unfortunately the rate in Donegal is 14.79%. These are people who are in such severe mortgage difficulty that they simply cannot afford to meet their mortgage payments. Unfortunately these figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the extent of the mortgage crisis in Co. Donegal as there are many more homeowners who are just barely keeping their heads above water,” said Deputy McConalogue.
He said this is a damning indictment of the Government’s record on tackling the mortgage crisis.
“The crisis has spiralled out of control in Donegal, as mortgage holders are left at the mercy of banks. I have been contacted by so many local homeowners over the past two years who cannot keep on top of their household bills and have fallen behind on their mortgage repayments. They are now genuinely fearful that they may lose their family home. It’s heart-breaking.
“Nationally there are 37,484 people in arrears for more than two years with tens of thousands more heading in that direction. The banks have been put firmly in the driving seat when it comes to restructuring mortgages in difficulty. The level of home repossessions is rocketing and homeowners have been left without any legislative protection. The Government’s much-hyped Personal Insolvency Service is not working. Despite the severe level of mortgage difficulty in Donegal and across the country, only 129 personal insolvency arrangements involving secured debt have been made by the Insolvency Service of Ireland since it was established in 2014.
“At the moment mortgage holders are being failed utterly by the Government. Fine Gael has shot down several attempts by my party to introduce legislation to get rid of this bank veto. They cannot ignore this crisis any longer. I’m urging the Government representatives here in Donegal to stop ignoring the mortgage crisis on their doorsteps.”