Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly has urged any householders with outstanding interest-only mortgage debt to speak to their lenders if they think they may be in danger of losing their homes.
He also warned that the shortage of social housing had pushed many ordinary families into taking on mortgage debt that many are now struggling to manage.
He commented: “It’s important that those with interest-only mortgages ensure they have appropriate plans in place to repay the original loan when the term of their agreement expires.
“At the height of the property boom many people on lower incomes were encouraged by lenders to take out interest-only mortgages as a way of keeping their monthly payments manageable.
“But this has left them vulnerable to losing their homes if they can’t pay back the original loan when the agreement ends. Many families could be facing foreclosure and they should be contacting their lenders now and try to change the terms of their mortgage agreement.
“It seems a long time ahead but even if the terms don’t end until the 2030s, the Financial Conduct Authority advises that it’s better to try and resolve this now.”