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Budget Brings Some Hope To Struggling Homeowners

Nationally, at least twenty six thousand mortgages are in arrears, according to figures published by the Financial Regulator, today .
These figures show almost 3.3 per cent of all residential mortgages, are in arrears for 90 days or longer up to the end of September of this year.

For-SaleThere are 26,271 mortgages in arrears with 17,767 homeowners behind in payments for more than 6 months. The figure is up from June of 2008, when almost 14,000 mortgages, equal to 1.4 per cent of all mortgages, were more than three months in arrears.

These figures released by the Financial Regulator also shows a rise in repossessions with court orders granted in some 79 cases.

Tipperary residents have welcomed the news that mortgage interest relief has been extended for a further seven years.  This move will bring some relief to people who bought their homes at the peak of the market and now find themselves in negative equity.

The relief was due to expire in 2010 but as a support to homeowners in negative equity, the recent Budget extended the entitlement to mortgage interest relief until the end of 2017. There has been a lot of justified negativity surrounding the recent Budget and this extension provides at least some assistance to struggling homeowners.

The Budget provides that qualifying loans taken out before 1 July 2011 will continue to get relief at current levels for seven years. Transitional arrangements will apply to loans taken out in the subsequent 18 months at a reduced level and duration.

April’s supplementary Budget announced that from May 2009 mortgage interest relief would be discounted for any mortgage over seven years. Therefore tax relief was only available on the interest payments for the first seven years of your mortgage but unavailable for the eighth and subsequent years. However this relief has now been pushed forward to help alleviate some of the pressure on homeowners.

This is especially good news for younger people who have just stepped onto the property ladder and have found themselves unemployed and with a huge mortgage.

However, it is small compensation for the mistakes made by this Government’s over-reliance on the property market.

Full details of the deadline extension will be outlined in the Finance Bill.

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