Five services are available under the scheme. MABS will direct users to the most relevant service for the personal financial and legal situation at hand.
The PIP Service:
Experts in debt advice and personal insolvency solutions, PIP can consider people’s options under insolvency and give advice on bankruptcy. By carrying out a full assessment of a person’s financial situation, options can be explored and written advice issued suggesting the best option available to deal with mortgage arrears. A PIP will prepare an individual’s ‘Prescribed Financial Statement’ (PFS) in order to do this.
The Accountant Service:
To receive free advice from an accountant under the scheme, work must be completed with a MABS Adviser and a Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process Standard Financial Statement (MARP SFS) created. The accountant will need a copy of this statement to issue financial advice. This voucher entitles a person to a face-to-face consultation with an accountant from the Scheme panel.
The Consultation Solicitor Service:
Should a case raise legal issues, a borrower’s advisor may recommend also consulting a solicitor from the scheme the panel. The financial advisor may apply to MABS for a legal advice voucher. This voucher entitles an individual to a face-to-face consultation with a solicitor, who can explain the legal situation, and advise on any legal issues relating to mortgage arrears.
If an individual has been served with notification of repossession proceedings, the consultation solicitor may, in some circumstances, be able to assist in finding a solution without going to court.
The Duty Solicitor Service:
A borrower facing Circuit Court repossession proceedings against their home due to mortgage arrears may receive help at Court from the Duty Solicitor.
The Duty Solicitor will normally be on duty at a Circuit Court on the date where the Court is due to deal with repossession cases. They may be able to speak for the borrower in Court, to explain what steps they are taking to try and deal with their mortgage arrears, and may be able to apply for the proceedings to be adjourned, if the borrower is trying to put a solution in place.
However, the Duty Solicitor cannot act as the borrower’s legal aid solicitor, or defend the proceedings on their behalf, as this is not covered by the scheme. The scheme does not cover legal aid for defending repossession proceedings.
In some circumstances, be able to assist in finding a solution without going to court.
The Personal Insolvency Court Review Service:
The borrower will only need this service if they have already worked with a PIP, have proposed a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) to their creditors, and the creditors have refused that proposal although the borrower’s PIP considers it fair and reasonable to all concerned.
Under section 115A of the Personal Insolvency Acts, a borrower in this situation can ask the Courts to review the PIA proposal. If the Court agrees that the proposal is overall fair and reasonable, it has the power to impose the proposal on the creditors.
Under the Personal Insolvency Court Review Service, the Legal Aid Board (www.legalaidboard.ie) agrees to provide you with legal representation by a solicitor and barrister to make the Court review application, as part of their Civil Legal Aid service.