The Expert Group on Mortgage Arrears and Personal Debt ("the Expert Group"), in its final report, recommended that lenders should implement its deferred interest scheme or a variation of it. The Central Bank quarterly residential mortgage data for end December 2011 showed that 82 mortgage holders were participating in Deferred Interest Schemes (DIS) offered by lenders. It should be noted that the DIS is a voluntary scheme directed towards extending forbearance to mortgage holders in difficulty.
The latest Central Bank mortgage data shows that there are approximately 75,000 restructured mortgage accounts which demonstrates that lenders are offering a range of forbearance options to mortgage holders in difficulty.
The approach of Government to the mortgage arrears problem has been clear and measures being implemented to assist mortgage holders in difficulty include personal insolvency reform, the implementation of the "mortgage to rent" initiative, direct engagement with individual mortgage lenders on their mortgage arrears resolution strategies, the development by lenders of realistic options for their customers that are experiencing mortgage difficulty and the provision of a mortgage advisory function.
In addition, the Central Bank's revised Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears remains a key framework that governs the relationship between lenders and mortgage holders who are in arrears or facing arrears. This continues to provide very important and much needed protections to such mortgage holders.