MABS welcomes the launch of Abhaile – the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service

October 2016

The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) welcomes the launch today of Abhaile – the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service - and encourages anyone in mortgage arrears and worried about losing their home to act now and talk to MABS.

Abhaile - the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service, which was officially launched today by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D, and Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar T.D., gives borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes a much more comprehensive range of expert supports to deal with their mortgage arrears.

In addition to the support and advice provided by the MABS Dedicated Mortgage Arrears Advice Service, expert advice is now also available from Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIP’s), solicitors and accountants. All of these supports are free of charge for insolvent borrowers who are in arrears with their home mortgage and at risk of losing their home.

“Abhaile is about giving borrowers in mortgage arrears better support, greater control, and more options, with the overall aim of keeping people in their homes,” says Annmarie O’Connor, Business Manager with MABS.

Already 1,340 borrowers have been helped under the new Service and they are already starting to benefit. “The feedback we’re getting on the Service seems really promising, both in terms of borrowers’ engagement with PIPs and solicitors and, very recently, with the ‘on-duty’ solicitors who are there, alongside the MABS Court Mentors, as a support for borrowers at repossession hearings”, Annmarie O’Connor said.

“Too often borrowers don't act because they're frightened there is no solution for them. It doesn’t have to be like that. Already, this new service has given our clients access to solutions that previously wouldn’t have been possible. There are solutions that can help people keep their homes and there are experts that can help. It’s a huge relief when people find a solution”, she says.

This new service gives borrowers access not just to MABS advisors nationwide who are highly skilled at dealing with mortgage arrears, but also to free advice from insolvency experts, solicitors and accountants all of whom have experience and expertise in the mortgage arrears area.

MABS encourages any borrower who's worried about losing their home to take the first step today and call the MABS Helpline 0761 07 2000. The supports are there for them.

View full text of Rosaleen Ward’s speech at the launch of Abhaile (.docx)

Notes to editors:

Who is Abhaile - the new Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service - for?

Abhaile is for borrowers who are unable to pay their debts in full as they fall due and who are in mortgage arrears on their home and who may be at risk of losing it.

What is new about Abhaile Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service?

In addition to the Dedicated Mortgage Arrears Advice Service in MABS which is currently helping almost 2,000 clients with complex mortgage arrears cases, Abhaile allows eligible borrowers to meet with an expert who can give further specialist advice on their case. Borrowers can meet with Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs), Solicitors or Accountants depending on the issues involved in their case.

There are also now ‘on-duty’ solicitors and MABS Court Mentors at every repossession list in the Circuit Court. They are there to give further advice and support to borrowers on proceedings.

How do people access the service?

Abhaile – the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service - is available nationwide and can be accessed by calling the MABS Helpline 0761 07 2000, Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm.

About MABS

MABS is the State’s Money Advice and Budgeting Service; it’s the gateway for debt advice for borrowers in home mortgage arrears. MABS is free, independent and confidential and provides expert advice on all aspects of money management and dealing with debt. MABS staff act as Approved Intermediaries and can support eligible debtors to avail of a Debt Relief Notice (an insolvency solution) for debts up to €35k. MABS also employs staff that specialise in mortgage arrears advice, ‘Dedicated Mortgage Arrears Advisers’. They are currently working with almost 2,000 clients with complex mortgage arrears problems.

For further information about MABS role in Abhaile, the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service, see www.mabs.ie.