I’m in home mortgage arrears, what should I do?
13th May 2019
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You might think it will never happen to you, but it’s easy to get into mortgage arrears if your situation changes or the unexpected happens. If you experience a temporary setback or a long-term change in your circumstances, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to lose your home. There are supports out there to offer advice and practical support - even if you’re facing the threat of repossession. The following steps should be followed if you are in mortgage arrears and seeking help.
It is crucial that you don’t panic and ignore the problem of mortgage arrears. When letters from creditors or solicitors begin to arrive in the door, it’s a very natural response to bury your head in the sand in the hope that the problem will go away.
Mortgage arrears can feel like a lonely place, but help is available. Get in contact with Abhaile, the state-funded mortgage arrears support scheme. Abhaile works to help homeowners find the best solutions to their home mortgage arrears and, where possible, to keep them in their own homes. The financial and legal services provided by Abhaile are free of charge. To qualify, you must meet all four of these conditions:
- Be in mortgage arrears on your home.
- Be insolvent. This means that you are unable to pay your debts in full as they fall due.
- Be at risk of losing your home because of your home mortgage arrears.
- Be reasonably accommodated i.e. the costs of continuing to live in your home are not disproportionately expensive.
Don't Ignore the Problem
If you receive a court summons from your lender, it is vital you attend, as it’s evidence that you are actively engaging in the process. When you arrive at the court, make sure to look out for the MABS Court Mentor. They are present at all possession hearings to aid borrowers and explain what’s happening.
Remember, you are not alone.
To date, Abhaile has supported over 10,000 households. The key message for those in arrears is that "it is never too late to seek advice". No matter how bad the situation appears, a positive outcome is possible.
If you are in mortgage arrears and fear you are at risk of losing your home, call the MABS dedicated Helpline on 0761 07 2000, or visit mabs.ie/contact to find your local office and schedule an appointment