Repossessions up by almost a quarter in Cookstown

Home repossessions rising
Home repossessions rising

Every week, more than two families in the Cookstown and Magherafelt Districts go through the trauma of losing their home, with the number of repossessions increasing sharply in the space of a year.

According to the latest figures, which were released by the Northern Ireland Courts Service, a total of 130 homeowners in the two districts were brought to court in 2013 by their lenders and threatened with eviction.

The number of actual home repossessions in the districts increased from 39 in the previous year to 48, a rise of 23 per cent.

There were also 27 evictions in Cookstown and 21 in Magherafelt.

Fortunately, local homeowners are less at risk of losing their home than their neighbours in the Dungannon District, which is one of Northern Ireland’s repossession hotspots.

During 2013, lenders took 118 Dungannon homeowners to court with a possession claim, which is the first step in repossessing a home, making the district one of the province’s repossession hotspots.

In all, there were 91 mortgage cases disposed in Dungannon District in that year, more than twice the number in both Cookstown [42] and Magherafelt [41] added together.

A Stormont-backed taskforce to examine the effect of mortgage repossessions has warned that the number of people falling behind on their mortgage payments could increase as interest rates begin to rise.

The task force said lenders have shown “a more tenacious approach to arrears management” in the lower income social bracket.