Abhaile, the Free Mortgage Arrears Support Service
Survey by Citizens Information Board reveals two thirds of
people unaware of free support available
Almost 66% of people are unaware of Abhaile a free support service available to homeowners who are in mortgage arrears, according to the the Mortgage Arrears Survey* conducted by the Citizens Information Board (CIB).
The Abhaile scheme, which people can access by calling the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), operates through a voucher system that provides five free packages of financial or legal advice delivered by trained professionals. The five services consist of the Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) Service, the Accountant Service, the Consultation Solicitor Service, the Duty Solicitor Service and the Personal Insolvency Court Review Service. MABS will refer callers requiring mortgage arrears assistance to one or more of these services, depending on their needs.
MABS, which is funded and supported by the CIB has been at the forefront of debt advice in Ireland for over twenty years. The CIB is responsible for driving the Abhaile communications campaign, which aims to inform people that Abhaile can help with long terms mortgage arrears issues.
Since its introduction last October, Abhaile has already helped in excess of 4,800 people in mortgage distress.
Angela Black, Chief Executive of CIB welcomed the launch of the communications campaign, which has been developed specifically with the distressed borrower in mind. She explained that while this service has already brought much needed hope and support to 4,800 stressed borrowers who are at risk oflosing their homes, it was now important to reach those who are still in the dark and unaware that this service is available to them.
“We are calling on members of the public nationwide to look out for family and friends who might appear fine on the surface but who are in fact struggling with mortgage arrears behind closed doors. They may not realise they have this access to free expert financial and legal advice. Our communications campaign is designed with this in mind, with a distinct focus on the role family and friends can play in encouraging people to look for help.”
She encourages anyone worried about their mortgage arrears to contact MABS by calling the national Helpline on 0761 07 2000 Monday – Friday 9am-8pm. The service is free, confidential and independent.
A MABS Helpline Adviser will direct callers to the most appropriate source of help. This may, in the first instance be to a local MABS office where they can meet with an experienced money adviser or Dedicated Mortgage Arrears (DMA) Adviser or they may provide eligible callers with a voucher to engage directly with a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP). The first important step is to pick up the phone.
For futher information and to read about other people affected by mortgage arrears debt:
Contact the MABS helpline on 0761 07 2000 Monday to Friday 9am-8pm.
*Survey was conducted between 12 and 17 January 2017 and is based on 1,000 respondents across Ireland.