Ask The Expert: Week 12 Show Notes - Best Bits

Personal Insolvency Practitioner’s and MABS staff cover a variety of topics on week 12 of our Ask the Expert series. Listed below are questions taken from each interview. If you’d like to hear more of a specific interview, scroll to the bottom of the page where the full recordings are listed for playback.


If your mortgage is sold to a "vulture fund", it doesn't mean that your home will be repossessed?

Alan McGee on C103:

“No, you're still protected under the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP). People should take advice from MABS or a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) because, in a lot of cases, the insolvency practitioner will be able to get proposal arrangements through.”


What should someone do if they know they will fall into arrears because of a job loss?

James Morgan on LMFM:

“The key is to engage with the lender and make sure that they're kept fully informed. Give them a call, let them know what’s happened. I would suggest if you don't get a job in the near future, to call into us [MABS] to look at options. In many cases we would look at a payment moratorium, or an interest-only payment arrangement. These sort of things happen all the time, the key thing to remember is keep people informed.”


personal insolvency arrangement

What advice would you give to someone attending a repossession court?

Jeanne Stapleton on GBFM:

“When somebody goes down to the repossession, courts, whether it's the first time in it or whether there have been a number of occasions , there will be two people there [from Abhaile] that they should make contact with if they don't have their own solicitor.

The first is the MABS Court Mentor and the second is the Duty Solicitor. They will guide the borrower through the process. After that, they will most likely make an appointment with the local MABS office or go directly to a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) depending on their circumstances. By working with MABS and with a PIP, you can address all of the debt.

People think that the reason they've been brought through to the repossession is that their creditors are looking for payment on their debt. The PIP can work a way that addresses the creditor’s needs and arrange payment on the mortgage. The PIP can remove the borrower from the repossessions list and readjust the mortgage so that it's functioning again for them.”


How important is it to attend the repossession court?

James Quinlan on WLR:

“It is hugely important to be there. You need to keep the court on your side. Don't insult the court by not turning up because you will be ticked off as a non-appearance. It is very important to be there stand up when you're called. I will speak on your behalf. Make sure you have an appearance at the court.”

If the home has been sold and there is residual debt remaining, they could look at a Debt Settlement arrangement (DSA), for that to happen may need to have some money that you could put into an arrangement as a lump sum or possibly spread it out over a few years.”


Watch our Court tips video if you are attending a repossession hearing. .

What does the agreement between MABS and the BPFI mean for borrowers in mortgage arrears?

Claire Kelly on Q102:

“Essentially it puts MABS offices on a more formal basis with the "vulture funds", whereby they can instigate contact with the funds on behalf of their customers, and look for something in terms a of long term restructure on the mortgage debt. There are a couple of things that I would highlight, which is not all the funds have signed up to this.

Previously you could advise your bank or the funds who bought your mortgage that you are authorising somebody on your behalf to speak with them and they were obliged to do so. This new agreement has formalised it.”


Read about the arrangement between MABS and the BPFI in full here .

Is there a fear factor that prevents people from receiving the supports their entitled to?

Yvonne Bogdanovic:

“Absolutely, that psychology of avoiding the things that you don't like to address is a huge factor in debt. We see it not alone with mortgage debt, but with all the other types of debt that we deal with with in the MABS office. We treat people as warmly, as welcomingly and as helpfully as we possibly can.”


Information Sources:

Galway Bay FM - Galway Talks with Keith Finnegan Episode 12 (25th September 2019)

C103 - Cork Today with Patricia Messenger Episode 12 (14th October 2019)

WLR FM - Déise Today with Damien Tiernan Episode 12 (15th October 2019)

Limerick’s Live 95 FM - Limerick Today with Joe Nash Episode 12 (5th November 2019)

Dublin’s Q102 – Mornings with Liam and Venetia Episode 12 (6th November 2019)

LMFM - The 11 – 1 Show with Sinead Brassil Episode 12 (13th Novemeber 2019)

If you or someone you know is affected by some of the topics raised in the above discussion, call the MABS dedicated Helpline on 0761 07 2000, or visit mabs.ie/contact to find your local office and to learn more about how Abhaile may help.