Rocketing mortgage debt is '£44m time bomb' for Northern Ireland householders, says charity
Rocketing mortgage debt is a "ticking economic and social time bomb" which has left Northern Ireland householders £44m out of pocket, says a local charity.
Advice NI said the number of people who are in debt following repossessions has increased by 24% since 2013 - an average debt of £100,000 per client.
The charity's Debt Action NI said it has become increasingly alarmed at the growth of mortgage shortfall debt - the amount still owed by householders who have had their homes repossessed or who have been forced to sell.
Those most at risk include the 41% of people living in negative equity, according to the charity's latest figures for 2013.
The service also warned the situation could get worse for many people if interest rates went up.
The charity has also pointed out that its advice is free and that people need not pay fees of up to £4,000 being charged by some firms charging for similar guidance.
Contact Advice NI's Debt Action NI on Freephone: 0800 917 4607; text'ACTION' to 81025 or visit www.debtaction-ni.net