We know that being in mortgage arrears on your home can be very stressful. It is understandable that you might feel like you are alone or that there is no help available. We know this because we help people who feel the same way every day.
The good news is that there is help, and you are not alone. The services available through Abhaile are here to help. The people from Abhaile are experts at what they do and have provided support to thousands of people in long term mortgage arrears—working with people in arrears to come up with a permanent solution to tackle the issue and stay in their homes.
This is the second in a series of four blogs where we will share information on each service and what to expect. The first blog was about the Dedicated Mortgage Arrears service.
The first step can often be the hardest, and we’re here to help. In today’s blog, we will be discussing the Personal Insolvency Practitioner service available across Ireland.
Keep reading to learn more and remember, the first step can often be the hardest, but we’re here to help.
Personal Insolvency Practitioner
A Personal Insolvency Practitioner sometimes called a PIP, is a qualified financial practitioner under the Personal Insolvency Acts. They are usually a qualified accountant, solicitor, or barrister trained specifically to manage personal insolvency and mortgage arrears with their clients. They are regulated by the Insolvency Service of Ireland.
You can reach out to a PIP directly, or you can contact MABS to access the service. Both will assess if you qualify for Abhaile and provide you with a voucher for a free consultation with a PIP from the Abhaile panel. If you do not qualify for a free consultation, look at Further Supports below for more information on what you can do.
The PIP will prepare a borrower’s Prescribed Financial Statement (PFS), which is a detailed written analysis of a borrower’s financial situation. This is required under the personal insolvency legislation. A PIP can apply for a Protective Certificate (PC) on your behalf while you and your PIP work towards a solution. A Protective Certificate is issued by the Courts to ensure the borrower’s creditors cannot pursue them for any outstanding debts. This allows breathing space for the borrower while working towards a solution to present to their creditors — the PC lasts for 70 days and, under special circumstances, can be extended to 110 days.
Personal Insolvency Arrangement
When working with a PIP, the outcome is to put a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) in place. A PIA is an arrangement that proposes how to resolve your mortgage arrears and any other debts you may have. It can range in length from 6 months to 6 years and is approved by all your creditors to return you to solvency. This means you’ll have an affordable monthly payment for the duration of the arrangement. The arrangement will also clarify your payments after the arrangement, so there are no surprises. Your affordability will be based on the Reasonable Living Income guidelines set by the Insolvency Service of Ireland and allow you to live comfortably.
It’s important to note that your creditors can refuse the PIA proposal. However, if your PIP thinks there is no good reason for this, they can apply on your behalf to have the PIA proposal reviewed by the Courts under Section 115A of the Personal Insolvency Acts. The Judge will review the arrangement and rule on whether the arrangement is fair to all parties and can approve the arrangement or refuse it with just cause.
The Dedicated Mortgage Arrears Service
Under Abhaile, DMA advisers are available nationally through MABS. This, like all the services of Abhaile, is free to access. You will usually be referred to a DMA if you engage through the MABS Helpline (0818 07 2000), your local office, or by WhatsApp 086 035 3141.
If you do not qualify for a PIP consultation or decide not to use the PIP service, your DMA adviser will work with you and your lender to agree on an informal resolution to your mortgage arrears.
On completion of your SFS, if your case has complex financial issues such as Revenue compliance or self-employment, then your DMA may help you apply for an accountant voucher so that you can obtain further financial advice from an accountant.
The accountant will advise you on any financial issues relating to the resolution of your mortgage arrears. They will also advise you on possible solutions when you talk with them and confirm this in writing.
You can choose your accountant from the Abhaile accountants panel depending on who is available.
Don’t worry if you’ve attended court for the repossession of your home or received a letter with a court date. Abhaile has Court-based Supports – the Court Mentor and the Duty Solicitor. Both usually* are available for support on your court date. If you have a court date coming up and are working with MABS or a PIP, they will liaise with the court-based services to update them on your progress.
If your PIP thinks you need legal advice, they will help you apply for a voucher for a free consultation with a solicitor.
Next time we will introduce the Court-based services – The Court Mentor and the Duty Solicitor service and how they can help. Follow @AbhaileInfo & Abhaile Mortgage Arrears on Twitter and Facebook, and Instagram so you don’t miss the next blog.
If you are in mortgage arrears and fear you are at risk of losing your home, call the MABS dedicated Helpline on 0818 07 2000, or find your local office to make an appointment.
This blog is provided as an aid to highlight a typical borrower journey through the different services and supports available under Abhaile. It does not constitute a legal interpretation of Abhaile or legal advice on relevant legislation and should not be relied on as such.