New figures show that one in seven homeowners in Donegal have missed mortgage payments, local Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has revealed.
The number of households in the county who cannot afford to pay their mortgage is now higher than the national average.
Almost 15% of Donegal mortgage holders have defaulted on their mortgages, according to information obtained by Fianna Fáil through Parliamentary Questions.
The latest available figures relate to June 2014.
Deputy McConalogue said the figures are proof of the extent of the mortgage crisis in Co. Donegal.
“The national average rate of mortgage default in June was 11.8% but unfortunately the rate in Donegal is 14.79%.
“These are people who are in such severe mortgage difficulty that they simply cannot afford to meet their mortgage payments.
“Unfortunately these figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the extent of the mortgage crisis in Co. Donegal as there are many more homeowners who are just barely keeping their heads above water.
“This is a damning indictment of the Government’s record on tackling the mortgage crisis.”
He added; “The crisis has spiralled out of control in Donegal, as mortgage holders are left at the mercy of banks. I have been contacted by so many local homeowners over the past two years who cannot keep on top of their household bills and have fallen behind on their mortgage repayments. They are now genuinely fearful that they may lose their family home. It’s heart-breaking.
“Nationally there are 37,484 people in arrears for more than two years with tens of thousands more heading in that direction.
“The banks have been put firmly in the driving seat when it comes to restructuring mortgages in difficulty. The level of home repossessions is rocketing and homeowners have been left without any legislative protection.”
The only counties with higher default rates than Donegal are: Cavan, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Meath. and Westmeath.