Eligible mortgage holders await relief

Thousands of mortgage holders still haven’t received their full mortgage interest relief entitlements announced in last year’s budget due to a computer glitch.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced the 30% interest relief scheme last December for people who bought their first home between 2004 and 2008.

The scheme is estimated to be worth on average €2,000 a year to over 270,000 eligible mortgage holders.

Yet consumers who have mortgages with Permanent TSB, Ulster Bank, IBRC and Certus (who are managing Bank of Scotland Ireland’s mortgage book) have not benefited from the full 30% mortgage interest relief scheme to date.

Ulster Bank and IBRC could not give a date for when they expected to pass on the higher level of relief.

An Ulster Bank spokes- person said there was no set timeframe for passing on the interest relief.

“In order to introduce these changes, modifications to our systems are required which we are currently working to implement,” an Ulster Bank spokesperson said.

“IBRC plans to complete these system changes this summer,” a spokesperson for the former Anglo Irish Bank said. It also combines Irish Nationwide Building Society.

There is some comfort for customers of Permanent TSB and Certus who said they will be applying the higher level of interest relief in June. The banks said the outstanding money owed to customers will be paid on a pro rata basis over the next six months.

The Revenue Commissioners blamed a computer glitch between themselves and the banks as the reason why millions of euro in relief hasn’t been passed on to mortgage holders.

“Revenue’s ICT system software was updated to implement the 30% rate in Dec 2011. As an interim measure, Revenue and lenders were able to apply a 25% rate to accounts in January as this was already in the system. Since then Revenue has been working with lenders to provide for the passing on of the additional 5% but not all lenders have been in a position to complete the process to date,” a spokesperson for the Revenue said.

The country’s pillar banks said they have already passed on the higher level of relief. Bank of Ireland said they had applied the relief since May 4. AIB said they have had the higher level of relief in place for “a number of weeks”, and EBS said they had applied the higher level of interest relief since April.


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