Operated by MABS, it will include a helpline operating 9am to 8pm from Monday to Friday, specialist advisors to assist mortgage holders in assessing the extent to which the option on offer from their lender is the best and most sustainable for them, and also assist those facing court proceedings.
The service was officially launched yesterday by Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, Kevin Humphreys, alongside Labour leaderJoan Burton.
Minister Burton said: “While the most recent data available from the Central Bank shows the number of homeowners in mortgage arrears has fallen significantly as the economic recovery picks up, there is still a large number of borrowers in long-term arrears and the MABS services will provide vital support and assistance to them.”
The specialist advisors will also, where required, be able to negotiate with a lender on behalf of a client.
A total of 19 advisors are already in place with more likely to come on stream in the coming weeks. The court mentors will be working alongside the Insolvency Service of Ireland and follows the completion of a pilot project in six court locations in Dublin, Cavan, Wexford, Trim, Castlebar and Roscommon.
Minister Humphreys said there would now be MABS court mentors available at repossession sittings right across the country.
“Increasingly, debtors with significant mortgage arrears are arriving at MABS on receipt of letters regarding legal proceedings, needing advice and support on going to court and the range of resolution options that may be available to them,” he said.
Two Relief DMA advisors have also been appointed in the West and South.