Figures from the Central Bank show that 6,650 mortgage accounts linked to a main residence that are in arrears are currently involved in a legal process.
This represents a fall of almost 1,300 compared with the same period last year.
The bank says that around one-third of those currently in a legal process have been in the legal system for more than five years.
During the third quarter of this year, the courts granted orders for repossession or sale of a property that affected 87 accounts.
A total of 27 principal dwelling house (PDH) properties were taken into possession by lenders during the three-month period – down from 33 properties in the second quarter.
Most of these were voluntarily surrendered or abandoned, with the remaining seven repossessed on foot of a court order.
The figures show that a total of 47,681 PDH accounts were in arrears at the end of the third quarter.
This represents a drop of 14% compared with the same period last year.
Just over 34,000 accounts were behind by more than 90 days – the lowest number since June 2010. The outstanding balance on these mortgages was €7 billion.
The bank says that the annual decline in arrears was due to reductions in both shorter- and longer-term arrears cases.
Accounts behind by less than one year declined by 300 during the quarter, with a reduction of almost 3,800 over the year. Accounts in arrears by more than a year declined by 1,180 in the quarter, and by almost 4,000 year-on-year.
The figures show, however, that around 5,400 mortgages have been in arrears for more than ten years.
Non-bank entities held 14% of all PDH mortgages at the end of September, and more than two-thirds of those accounts that were behind by more than a year.
Just over 13,000 buy-to-let (BTL) mortgage accounts were also in arrears at the end of September – a decrease of 647 or 4.7% over the quarter. Just over 9,500 were more than a year behind with repayments.
During the third quarter of 2021, rent receivers were appointed to 148 BTL accounts, bringing the stock of BTL accounts with rent receivers appointed to just over 4,000 at the end of September.
Lenders took possession of 39 BTL properties during the quarter, with three of these taking place on foot of a court order.