Mortgage Arrears A-Z

Mortgage Arrears A to Z


A – Abhaile

The free mortgage arrears support scheme, providing vital free financial & legal advice from regulated professionals to people in long-term mortgage arrears to keep them, wherever possible in their home.

mabs.ie/abhaile


B - Back on Track

The Insolvency Service of Ireland’s (ISI) consumer website, providing information on all insolvency services and debt solutions, including those accessed through the Abhaile scheme.

backontrack.ie


C - Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears

The Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (issued by the Central Bank of Ireland) sets out a framework allowing mortgage lenders & borrowers in mortgage difficulties to engage with one another in a structured way.

What is the CCMA?


D – Dedicated Mortgage Arrears Adviser (DMA)

The Dedicated Mortgage Arrears advisers are specially equipped to help borrowers in mortgage arrears, they can be accessed through MABS, and they primarily deal with severe and emergency cases where people are at risk of losing their homes.

Find out more about DMA's here


E – Engage

Engagement is critical in the mortgage arrears resolution process. Engage with your lender as soon as you find yourself in trouble, or at risk of falling into arrears. Don’t worry if you’re finding it difficult, you are not alone - MABS advisers are available to help at every stage and will support you in working with your lender.


F – Free

Free – the cost of engaging with the financial, legal and insolvency supports from regulated and professional advisers under the Abhaile scheme.

Do I Qualify for free advice?


G – Gateway

MABS is the main gateway to the Abhaile Scheme. A MABS adviser will carry out an initial assessment of your situation and provide information on the available options. These options might include working with a Dedicated Mortgage Arrears (DMA) Adviser or a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) to resolve your mortgage arrears situation. Call 0761 07 2000 or drop into any of the 60 MABS offices nationwide.


H- Home

Your home! Mortgage Arrears can do more than cause stress; it can make you to feel like your house isn’t your home anymore. Engaging with Abhaile is a first positive step to let your house feel like home again.


I - Interest Rate Reduction

A possible short-term arrangement that can be achieved. This means you pay a reduced interest rate on your mortgage for a set amount of time, sometimes the duration of the mortgage, these repayments can lower your overall mortgage repayments and help resolve your mortgage arrears.


J – Judge

Section 115a of the Insolvency Act (2013) as amended grants a Judge the power to review an application made by a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) where a proposed arrangement has been turned down by the creditors (those that a borrower might owe money to). The Judge can review the submission and rule in favour of the arrangement if they decide it is fair on all mentioned in the arrangement.


K – Keys

Don’t hand back the keys to your home without getting professional advice; it doesn’t solve the existing problem. If you voluntarily hand over the keys for your lender to sell the property, you could be liable for any outstanding mortgage after the property is sold.


L - Long Term Mortgage Arrears

Long-term mortgage arrears is any arrears that have lasted over 720 days/2 years as defined by the Central Bank of Ireland. The Abhaile scheme was established to help these families and keep them, wherever possible, in their own homes.


M – Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP)

Lenders are required to have a Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP). This is the procedure for dealing with cases of mortgage difficulty according to rules set out in the CCMA, an Arrears Support Unit (ASU) where cases of pre arrears and arrears are dealt with using the Central Bank’s Standard Financial Statement (SFS) and also an internal Appeals Board to consider disputes between borrowers and the Arrears Support Unit.

Further information on MARP and the CCMA


N – Non-banking Entity (also known as so-called "Vulture" Fund)

Non-Banking Entity is a corporate term for unregulated loan owners (ULO) or credit servicing firms. NBEs are commonly referred to as “Vulture” funds in respect of their business model to buy up bad, or non-performing loans from lenders at a discount of the loan’s worth to try "turn-a-profit".


O - Overwhelming

Being in mortgage arrears is undoubtedly overwhelming - sharing the problem with someone who can help lightens the load and provides certainty on how to move towards a possible solution. Abhaile advisers work with you and your lender to achieve a sustainable solution to your mortgage arrears.


P - Possession Hearing

A possession hearing is the court sitting you should attend if you receive a letter from your lender to say they are taking you to court due to your mortgage arrears. It is in your best interest to attend these hearings so that you have an opportunity to explain your situation. Don’t worry, Abhaile Duty Solicitors and Court Mentors from MABS will be available to support you.

What happens when your lender takes you to court


Q - Qualify, Do I?

There are 4 criteria to qualify for Abhaile

  • 1. In mortgage arrears on your home
  • 2. Insolvent
  • 3. At risk of losing your home because of arrears
  • 4. Reasonably accommodated (e.g. you’re not one person living in a 4 bedroom house)

Do I Qualify for Abhaile?


R - Resolutions

There are many possible resolutions to mortgage arrears, and some can be combined to ensure the best available solution for each unique case.

We’ve outlined some possible solutions here


S – Section 115A (Personal Insolvency Arrangement Review Service)

If you have worked with a PIP & proposed a PIA to your creditors, but the creditors have refused your proposal, you can ask the Courts to review it. If the Court agrees that the proposal is overall fair and reasonable, using the criteria set out in section 115A of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012, it can impose the proposal on your creditors.


T - Trial Arrangement

A trial arrangement is a short-term arrangement, e.g. 3-6 months to prove that an arrangement is possible to your lender or to give a bit more time to put a longer-term sustainable solution in place. A borrower might have a number of trial arrangements before the right one is selected – An Abhaile adviser will support you at each stage.


U – Umbrella

The Abhaile Scheme is an umbrella brand that coordinates and provides access to a number of State-funded supports for people in long-term mortgage arrears. These organisations are MABS, the ISI, Legal Aid Board, Court Services and the Citizens Information Board. The scheme is co-funded by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and the Department of Justice and Equality.


V - “Vulture Funds”, so-called

So-called “Vulture Funds” are unregulated loan owners (ULO) or credit servicing firms that are commonly referred to as so-called “Vulture” funds as to their nature as they buy up soured loans from lenders at a discount of the loan’s worth.


W – Warehousing

Warehousing is a solution to mortgage arrears by parking part of the mortgage for several years to be paid at a specified time. This works for many people as they may have a lump sum due when they retire, so they use it to pay their mortgage/warehoused part of the mortgage, therefore going debt-free into retirement. It is important that you get professional advice when agreeing an arrangement with your lender. An arrangement should, where possible, return you to solvency.

Possible Solutions to Home Mortgage Arrears


X - Expel the Myth

Expel the myth that if “you don’t pay your mortgage they [banks] can’t touch you”. This is not true. However, it is never too late to engage even if you are in the repossession court.


Y - You

Abhaile advisers are here to help you to achieve a sustainable solution to your mortgage arrears by guiding you every step of the way.


Z – Zone out!

It is easy to zone out when a problem seems too big to handle. A problem shared, is a problem halved. Talk! Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do, but talking to someone – anyone – about your mortgage arrears, gets the conversation going, it will help. Talk to MABS and see what can be done.


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