Some Irish mortgage statistics worth considering

We all know the headline [glossary id=’6898′ slug=’mortgage’ /] arrears figures and that they are a disaster. Take a look at some of the other figures which don’t make it into general reporting (other than when they come out during Oireachtas committees and the like). Something that still isn’t widely known is that huge numbers of arrears cases are not engaged and haven’t filled in the most basic Standard Financial Statement required to get an arrears resolution.


  • 6,000 mortgages 2.5 to 3 years behind and not engaging
  • 16,000 Standard Financial Statements (SFS) analysed to collate ‘strategic figures’
  • 50 per cent of arrears cases haven’t yet filled in an SFS, the founding document of resolutions
  • 2,000 re-engagements after legal threats
  • 2,000 arrears cases have money on deposit greater than arrears
  • 1,000 buy-to-let mortgages with nothing paid in last six months or more
  • 4,000 accounts where customer could pay full mortgage from net disposable income allowing for living expenses (insolvency guidelines plus 20 per cent on top) but do not

Ulster Bank

  • 35 per cent of arrears cases either not engaging with bank or making zero payments
  • States that arrears decoupled from unemployment as a driver of it in 2011
  • 4,354 legal threats sent to people’s primary homes resulted in about 1,000 borrowers re-engaging
  • 18,025 mortgages 90 days or more in arrears out of 122,831 mortgages. 15,328 are primary homes, meaning threats were sent to 28 per cent of home loan arrears cases, resulting in a roughly 25 per cent level of re-engagement
  • By July 2013, almost 2,600 mortgage accounts had made no payment at all. Ulster Bank systems not cross-referenced to give a full view, meaning a client could (if undisclosed) have a large deposit with the bank that they are not aware of in dealing with arrears


  • Strategic defaults in ‘double-digits’ as a percentage of all defaulters
  • 25,000 mortgages in arrears
  • 20 per cent of customers have not filled in an SFS and, of the remaining 80 per cent, many are outdated (12 months old or more)
  • 3,500 split mortgages offered to engaging customers in need
  • 26 per cent offered sustainable solutions
  • 2,000 formal legal proceedings issued


  • 16,000 restructures
  • Only 13 mortgage-to-rent solutions done or offered to date
  • €27 billion in all residential lending outstanding; €4.3 billion is the amount of that in negative equity, or 16 per cent (bearing in mind that half of the loan book is in the UK)
  • 198,000 mortgage accounts to 160,000 customers, 62 per cent of which are trackers
  • €1.4 billion in provisions against the €28 billion in lending, not factoring in for standard credit losses
  • British experience shows that 70 per cent of customers re-engaged when threatened legally

One Comment

  1. Terry

    Hi, I have about €6k in arrears on a mortgage of 250k I took out in 2007. Have engaged a few times with mortgage company (sub prime) and arrangement is always the same, interest free for a few months which is great for short term, reality is I can’t afford the €1000 a month mortgage, and I want to clear the arrears. I am looking for a long term solution here to clear arrears by maybe extending period (34 years left on mortgage) but bank just always come back with interest free few months option. What options can I propose to them to get this off my back, I am not looking for write down or to get out of mortgage as I acknowledge I got the loan and owe the money. I am simply looking for a long term solution, I can afford roughly 700 a month at a stretch, but I could do it. Just looking for a little guidance

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