The country’s retail banks, non-bank lenders and Credit Servicing Firms are this week rolling out a major information and advertising campaign in association with BPFI.
A new website, paymentbreak.ie and ‘A Guide to Coming off the Covid-19 Payment Break’ is at the centre of the information campaign which is supported by a substantial nationwide advertising campaign.
The campaign is aimed at supporting the thousands of customers coming off mortgage payment breaks in September/October and encourages them to engage with their lender.
The campaign includes: national and local radio adverts, national and local newspaper advertising, digital adverts on newspaper websites, social media videos, a new campaign website and customer guide.
As of 21 August, 43,000 accounts were still on active mortgage payment breaks, with 37,000 of those on ‘extensions’ and due to come off the mortgage payment breaks in the coming weeks.
The new BPFI Guide – all your Q&As answered, an outline of how the MARP process works and preparing a Standard Financial Statement
The new BPFI “Guide to Coming off the Covid-19 Mortgage Payment Break” emphasises to customers the importance of engaging early with their lender, who will have expert staff in the area of mortgages and mortgage arrears and will be there to help them talk through their individual case. The Guide also has a section on commonly used financial terms and explainers to help reassure and educate customers who find themselves having to engage on payment breaks and mortgage repayments in the weeks ahead.
While banks appreciate that many customers may be in a position where they are able to return to full repayments on their mortgage they also say in the Guide that they understand that some customers may still be financially impacted and will be fully supported through ‘what happens next’ and how to manage their mortgage repayment issues.
In addition to providing contact details for all lenders and practical advice on the repayment process ahead, the Guide also provides advice for those who may have financial challenges and need to prepare budgets and a Standard Financial Statement.
The Guide stresses that it is important to know that there is support and help available to customers who find themselves in financial distress or difficulty and that lenders in Ireland have dedicated staff to deal sensitively with borrowers who may find themselves in this situation.
It also includes an easy to follow step-by-step explanation of the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) which lenders must follow and will be helpful to borrowers who are planning their next steps as they exit their payment break.
The Guide also highlights that lenders can offer a variety of options depending on a number of factors specific to customers’ own circumstances. The options available will be decided upon when the customer and their lender discuss their situation and assess the circumstances. Different lenders will offer different solutions. Examples of some of the short-term options that may be offered include: Interest only – you pay the interest only on your mortgage for an agreed time and Reduced payment – you pay less than the full amount for an agreed period.