FINE Gael Cork South West TD Noel Harrington, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD that free, independent professional financial advice will be provided to borrowers in mortgage distress.
The initiative, which is being funded by the banks and other lending institutions, will involve the provision of advice to distressed mortgage holders by accountants from independent accountancy institutes.
“I welcome this initiative and believe that it will be of assistance to mortgage holders in West Cork who are facing difficulty meeting their repayments. People are under real stress in their efforts to balance their financial situation and meet their mortgage repayments. This initiative will help these people to find solutions to their repayment issues.
“I very much welcome that the cost of this initiative is being fully funded by the banks. It sends out a message that they are committed to resolving situations where people have mortgage repayment issues. €10 million has been made available by the banks for this initiative, with each mortgage holder being able to avail of services amounting to €250.
“Borrowers will be able to select an accountant from the panel of participating accountants which will be available on a county by county basis on the Citizens Information Board website www.keepingyourhome.ie.
“Approximately 1,000 accountants are expected to join the panel which will be available by mid-September.
“The Government is acutely aware of the difficulties that many households are facing in meeting their mortgage repayments and addressing these difficulties is at the forefront of Government’s agenda.
“This initiative is one of a range of services which are available to people in difficulty. The Citizens Information Board (CIB) website, www.keepingyourhome.ie, offers detailed information and initial advice to distressed mortgage holders.
“The Mortgage Arrears Information Helpline provides general mortgage arrears information and guidance to mortgage holders who are in arrears or foresee difficulty making their repayments. The helpline number is 0761 07 4050.
“There are no quick fixes to the mortgage debt problem and I am aware that each distressed mortgage holder faces their own individual set of circumstances. The important thing is that people engage with their lender.”