AIB Writes Off Some Mortgage Debt

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Allied Irish Banks has written-off mortgage debts in a small number of cases where it has repossessed houses but is working on industry-wide long-term solutions to lessen the debt burden for struggling borrowers to help them stay in their homes, the Irish Times reported. Speaking to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, AIB executive chairman David Hodgkinson said he was consulting with the Department of Finance and the Central Bank on a wide range of solutions to assist distressed customers. Mr Hodgkinson said the bank was not looking to introduce tailored solutions for just a small number of customers but a massive programme across the bank to offer customers different options to help them. "We are trying to keep people in their homes," he said. He said AIB had repossessed less than 20 houses, all but one of which were voluntarily handed over, and that agreement had been reached with more than 5,000 customers to help them with their debts. Most cases involved customers moving to paying only interest on their mortgages. The head of AIB's home mortgage business, Jim O'Keeffe, said that the bank had only written off mortgage debt in a "small number of cases" or "handful" of cases and only where houses had been repossessed. Read more.