Abhaile provides over 8,000 borrowers facing repossession advice and support at possession hearings
16th November 2018
The Abhaile scheme for borrowers in home mortgage arrears includes a national communication and information campaign managed by the Citizens Information Board. The campaign aims to reach out to those in mortgage arrears, to inform them of the help available, and to encourage them to avail of Abhaile services.
The campaign uses a broad range of traditional media channels as well as digital platforms to promote awareness of how to access the free services available. The feeling of isolation, anxiety and shame experienced by people in serious mortgage arrears, can be a barrier to accessing the available supports.
Despite this Abhaile has already helped significant numbers of borrowers in long-term mortgage arrears, through its free, independent financial and legal advice designed to help borrowers achieve a resolution of their mortgage difficulties, and where possible, keep them in their home.
- Over 8,000 borrowers facing repossession proceedings have received advice and support at court from a Duty Solicitor, a MABS Court Mentor, or both.
- To date, MABS Dedicated Mortgage Arrears service (DMA MABS) has provided advice and assistance to almost 6,000 borrowers in mortgage arrears
- Since Abhaile was set up in mid-2016, over 7,000 borrowers have received financial advice from a Personal Insolvency Practitioner
- Almost 3,000 have received vouchers to allow them to consult a solicitor and obtain written legal advice
Speaking about Abhaile and MABS Angela Black, Chief Executive, Citizens Information Board said:
“We understand that shame, stress and isolation are barriers to people coming forward to avail of the free supports provided under Abhaile. We’re here to offer them support so that they don’t have to suffer alone. I encourage anyone who is facing the prospect of losing their home due to mortgage arrears to contact MABS.”
Borrowers in long-term home mortgage arrears should, in the first instance, call the MABS Helpline 0818 07 2000 from 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. MABS advisers can provide advice and signpost to the most appropriate service depending on the borrower’s circumstances.
The Abhaile scheme is always looking for more ways to reach those in serious mortgage arrears. Abhaile will examine the report published by Community Action Network to see if it can offer more avenues of support.
Services available under Abhaile
MABS provides a ‘universal gateway’ for borrowers to access Abhaile – either by calling to a MABS office or by phoning the Helpline. Under Abhaile, these trained staff will assess the borrower’s situation, and direct him or her to the Abhaile adviser best placed to help them. Depending on the borrower’s situation, this may be one or more of the Abhaile services listed below, which respond to the different needs of borrowers at risk of losing their homes due to mortgage arrears:
- Financial advice and help from a MABS Dedicated Mortgage Arrears Adviser (“DMA”)
- Financial advice and help from a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP)
- Financial advice and help from an accountant
- Legal advice and help from a consultation solicitor
- Support and information at repossession court proceedings, from a Court Mentor
- Legal support and assistance at repossession court proceedings, from a duty solicitor
Legal aid for a court review under the Personal Insolvency Acts, where creditors refuse a reasonable proposal that includes the borrower’s home mortgage arrears.
All Abhaile services are provided free to the borrower. Financial advice and help from a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) or an accountant, and legal advice and help from a consultation solicitor are accessed by the borrower using a voucher provided by MABS. MABS Dedicated Mortgage Arrears (DMA) advisers are also provided free through the Abhaile scheme.