Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ban on Repossessions Delaying Inevitable?

Repossession orders are down according to the latest figures in the Independent, dropping from 985 to 583 during 2010. The Irish Times also has a report on the topic noting "an increase of 65 per cent in applications for judgment mortgages" in the Circuit Court over 2009. Similar actions increased 128% in the High Court.
Unsurprisingly, there were 13,613 debt judgments in the Circuit Court during 2010 (up 25%), and 30,000 in the District Court.
The report also notes that "[t]he High Court dealt with 3,207 debt-recovery cases, up 28 per cent on 2009. The District Court issued 1,564 ejectment orders last year, up 76 per cent on the previous year. There has also been a trebling in bankruptcy cases in the last two years, with 29 bankruptcies granted in 2010 compared to eight in 2008."

Given the state of the economy, how many of those currently in arrears are likely to avoid repossession after the 12 month moratorium? This policy is just kicking the can down the road and preventing the market from achieving the necessary correction. No one wants to see neighborhoods blighted by empty repossessed homes but setting up this artificial situation with a repossession embargo cannot be a good idea.