MABS National Helpline 0761 07 2000 answers its 250,000th call
Established in 2007, the MABS National Helpline is a vital support to people worried about money management and debt. The 3rd of October marks a milestone as the helpline staff answered call number 250,000.
The recession greatly influenced the development of the MABS Helpline. Over the years, it has both provided direct support to callers and the wider MABS network of offices in dealing with the unprecedented levels of demand.
Erica Jackson, MABS Helpline Manager, commented saying: ‘We know that lifting the phone to call the MABS Helpline might be the first step in a resolution for a caller who has been through a very tough time, both in falling into arrears and trying to resolve them. All of our Helpline staff keep that fact foremost in their minds every time they answer a call and offer to help’.
MABS Helpline advisers are trained to the same high standards as the MABS advisers that provide the MABS face-to-face service. The holistic assessment carried out with callers by the Helpline ensures that callers get both the type and level of support that is most appropriate to their needs. We will always offer to make a ‘call-back’ if that is required.
The importance of the MABS National Helpline is highlighted by the fact that it is referenced in a number of important Codes such as the Central Bank’s Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears. Creditors also promote the MABS National Helpline number 0761 07 2000 when dealing with borrowers who are in debt or at risk of getting into debt. Major utilities also refer customers who may be experiencing arrears difficulty to the MABS National Helpline.
“Because of these referrals we have been able prevent disconnections and help callers put in place repayment plans for their arrears” said Erica.
The MABS Helpline has played a very important role in supporting borrowers in home mortgage arrears. The MABS helpline is the main point of contact under the ABHAILE free mortgage arrears support scheme.
“Because the MABS Helpline stays open later than many other services (Monday to Friday 9 am to 8 pm) we also handle many emergency calls for help and advice and greatly value the relationships we have built-up with important referral agencies such as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, the Samaritans and others’, Erica added.
The MABS Helpline provides direct support to approximately two-thirds of all callers and aims to use new technologies to expand and increase the level of active support available to all such callers in the coming years.
What Callers have said about the MABS National Helpline
“I spoke to a very helpful, pleasant lady called Irene. I’m glad I got this lady today and felt so comfortable talking to her. She cheered me up, and I felt a lot better about myself and my situation after speaking with Irene. She's a credit to your service.”
“Liz, I just want to let you know that I have just spoken to the client, and she was full of praise for you. She said you went over and above to help her. Because of your kindness, she actually slept last night.”
“Rose, I hope you are well. I had a client yesterday who you spoke to on the Helpline. She couldn’t speak highly enough of you, and she told me she felt much better after she spoke with you. She has since set up her standing orders, and we are now working with her to complete her budget.”
“Nice friendly staff that don't make you feel small or stupid for the mess you have gotten into”.
“I originally thought MABS was only for mortgages - when I realised it wasn't I was still so nervous making the phone call. Niamh was kind and understanding and totally non-judgemental. I feel less scared about the thought of a creditor legal action. I feel like I have support now and a huge weight has already been lifted.”