The arrival of the IMF last week overshadowed another piece of important news that involves ordinary people, for once: hard pressed private mortgage holders who are in payment arrears or who are now stuck in negative equity to the detriment of their job prospects in another city, for example, may have hope for some resolution of their very pressing financial difficulties.

The publication of the long awaited report of the Mortgage Arrears and Personal Debt Group, set up by the Central Financial Regulator earlier this year includes recommendations that allow for the following, if accepted by government:

– Mortgage holders in arrears, who can pay at least 66% or two thirds of the existing interest on their mortgage, can defer payment of both the remaining interest and capital for a period of up to five years without additional interest or penalties.

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