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Repossession Dos and Don’ts for Irish Homeowners

Mortgage Arrears

Are you struggling to pay your mortgage or do you think you might have trouble doing so in the near future?
Are you worried how your mortgage provider will deal with you?

Don’t panic. The Central Bank of Ireland has published a Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears or CCMA which sets out clearly how your mortgage provider will deal with you in relation to your mortgage payments on your sole or main property. They have also published a consumer guide which is easy to read and understand and can be downloaded from www.citizensinformation.ie.

It lists ten important steps that you can take to make the process as smooth as possible and it includes information on dealing with your lender, the information your lender must give you, the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process or MARP, appeals and repossession.

The Dos and Don’ts:

Debt Settlement Arrangement

Do co-operate with your lender. Not co-operating may lead to repossession or negatively affect your eligibility for a Personal Insolvency Arrangement.

Don’t ignore any communications from your lender since they must help you to try to resolve your situation. Provide the information they require, keep in touch with them and inform them if your circumstances change.

Do read all information given to you by your lender including the booklet on MARP.

Do ask your lender questions if you are unsure about anything or if you need more information.

Do consider getting independent financial and/or legal advice. Go on line at www.keepingyour home.ie where you can get advice.

Do provide information and supporting documentation requested by your lender ensuring you have agreed with them precisely what is required and that you have sufficient time to do it. Ask for more time if you need it.

Do complete the Standard Financial Statement completely and accurately and avail of your lender’s assistance, which they are obliged to give you, in this task.

Do know your rights about making an appeal and/or complaint. Complain to your lender if you are unhappy with the way they are dealing with you or if you think they are not complying with the CCMA. You can also appeal to your lender’s Appeals Board if you are unhappy with the arrangement offered to you or if you think you have been wrongly classified as not co-operating. 

Do check if you are entitled to any government support such as mortgage interest relief or mortgage interest supplement and if you have payment protection insurance, check if you can make a claim on that policy.

Don’t ignore the problem. Mortgage arrears simply won’t go away and if you ignore them you could potentially lose your home. Contact your lender as soon as you get into financial difficulty or even if you even anticipate that happening.

Article written by: Paddy Byrne
09/12/2013

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