Sale of home mortgages to 'funds'

August 2018

I think my loan has been sold to a fund and I’m worried about losing my home.

MABS knows that for homeowners hearing their home mortgage has been sold, can be very distressing, especially if you fear that you may lose your home. There are, however, protections in place for all home mortgage owners; namely the Central Bank's Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) and its Consumer Protection Code 2012. All existing terms and conditions that relate to your mortgage must be honoured by the new loan owner.

Why has my loan been sold?

If your mortgage is sold it may be because the bank has classified it as ‘non performing’. This means that, the borrower has not been meeting the full contractual repayment on a monthly basis and the account is in arrears of more than 90 days or the bank has determined that the borrower is unlikely to be able to repay the amount owed. This classification is an internal bank procedure and it does not mean that your home will be repossessed.

Are there any protections for me?

Your lender must take certain steps to deal with any problems you have in paying your mortgage in line with the Central Bank's Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA). This Code sets out how your lender must communicate with you, provide information to you, assess your mortgage arrears situation, come to a resolution and manage any subsequent appeals. All cases must be handled sympathetically and positively by the lender, with the objective at all times of assisting the borrower to meet his/her mortgage obligations.

However, if you are in mortgage arrears, have not been engaging with your lender or have not yet reached an agreement with them on restructuring, the new loan owners may take or continue possession proceedings. If this is happening it is important that you engage with the process, attend at Court, and show that you are attempting to pay your mortgage on a sustained basis.

Where can I get support?

There is support available to you. MABS has staff at all repossession list hearings and they are there to support you on the day, MABS also provides free, one-to-one support for borrowers in home mortgage arrears and will work with you to explore all the options available to you to keep you in your home where this is possible.

In addition to the support of MABS Money Advice staff, under the ABHAILE scheme you can access a range of further professional supports free of charge. Through ABHAILE you can access free financial advice, from a MABS Dedicated Mortgage Arrears (DMA) Adviser, a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) or an Accountant. If you need legal advice on issues related to your mortgage arrears you may be able to avail of a free face-to-face meeting with a solicitor, who will explain your legal situation and advise you how best to resolve it.

If you are called to court to face repossession proceedings on your home, you will be able to meet a Duty Solicitor at the court. The Duty Solicitor may be able to speak for you in court and explain the proceedings to you.

What do I do next?

We recommend that you engage with the new loan owner and any companies that may be servicing the loan and continue to make repayments to your mortgage. If you can’t meet your mortgage repayments, or you’re worried you might fall behind, you should contact your lender as soon as possible as missing a mortgage repayment could have a negative effect on your credit rating.

If you are worried or have a concern about your loan being sold, the MABS Helpline can provide some guidance in how you can deal with this transition. You can call the MABS National Helpline – Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm on 0761 07 2000. Or you can email us on helpline@mabs.ie.