If you need advice and assistance to deal with any type of debt, whether it is mortgage, loan, credit card or overdraft, you can contact the State’s Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS). The MABS service is a free, independent, confidential and nonjudgemental service which is provided by skilled and experienced advisors for people who are in debt or at risk of getting into debt.
The MABS Helpline, 0818 07 2000, is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. The MABS face-to-face service is available in over 60 locations nationwide – see www.mabs.ie to find your nearest MABS office.
Abhaile is a service to help homeowners find a resolution to their home mortgage arrears. It provides vouchers for free financial and legal advice and help from experts, which are available through MABS.
The aim of Abhaile is to help mortgage holders in arrears to find the best solutions and to keep them, wherever possible, in their own homes. A dedicated adviser will work with you and your lender to find the best solution for your situation.
Contact: 0818 07 2000 (Monday – Friday 9am – 8pm)
Visit the website here.
The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI)
Where a borrower believes that they are insolvent i.e. unable to meet their loan repayments while maintaining a minimum standard of living they may be eligible for a personal insolvency arrangement. The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) is responsible for the personal insolvency framework. Check out the website set up to help borrowers find out more about insolvency solutions at backontrack.ie
The Personal Insolvency Act introduced three new structures to deal with unsustainable debt, both secured and unsecured, as follows:
A Debt Relief Notice (DRN) to allow for the write-off of debt up to €35,000, subject to a 3-year supervision period.
A Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) for the agreed settlement of unsecured debt, with no limit involved, normally over 5 years.
A Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) for the agreed settlement of secured debt up to €3 million (though this cap can be increased) and unsecured debt, with no limit involved, normally over 6 years.
Further details of the insolvency framework and the individual arrangements are available at the ISI website. View the ISI website here.
Citizens Information Service
The Citizens Information Board is the statutory body which supports the provision of information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public and social services. You can get information and advice face-to-face at your local Citizens Information Centre by phone through the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0818 07 4000, or by clicking here to access the Citizens Information website.
Free Legal Aid Centres (FLAC) is an independent charity that campaigns on legal issues. It provides an information and referral line (01 906 10 10) and organises evening Legal Advice Centres throughout Ireland in conjunction with the Citizens Information Board. Click here to access the FLAC website.
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s personal finance information website provides information and advice on a range of financial issues including managing your money, tackling debt and repossession and making a complaint.
You can find more helpful information about the Consumer Protection Code 2012 here and advice on switching your mortgage from the CCPC here.
Where a borrower believes that they are in serious financial difficulty and a voluntary payment plan or insolvency arrangement is not sustainable, they may consider bankruptcy. The rules regarding Bankruptcy were amended in 2016 to reduce the duration of an arrangement to 12 months, previously 3 years. The duration of a bankruptcy payment order was reduced from 5 years to 3 years, except in cases of non co-operation or the concealment of assets when it can be extended for a longer period.
The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) is responsible for the bankruptcy system and further details can be found here at the ISI website.