If it looks like you're getting into debt, get advice on how to prioritise your debts. When people feel anxious, they sometimes avoid talking to others. If this starts to happen, facing up to these situations will generally make them easier. Make sure to contact your banks or credit unions and ask for help
The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is a free and confidential service for people who are having problems with money management and debt. MABS money advisers provide advice and practical help to people to review their debts, deal with their creditors and work out solutions.
MABS is centrally involved in the aid and advice scheme for people in serious mortgage arrears, as part of Abhaile, the national Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service.
MABS offers a range of services, as follows:
Dealing with debt
Your debts may become a problem for many reasons, such as job loss, illness, extra expenses, or loans that you can’t pay. A MABS money adviser can:
MABS has agreed a protocol with the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) to help people to manage their debt repayments in an affordable way. The lenders involved have committed to work with MABS to help customers to address their debt problems and agree a sustainable repayment plan. The protocol allows for write-off of some debt, at the lender’s discretion. It does not apply to mortgage debt.
MABS can also help you to agree a sustainable repayment plan with other creditors (who are not part of the protocol).
If you cannot pay your debts
Most MABS services are registered as Approved Intermediaries with the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) and can assess whether a Debt Relief Notice is an appropriate solution for you and bring you through the application process. MABS can also advise you on how to access other personal insolvency options.
Addressing mortgage arrears
If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, MABS can advise you on your options. The Central Bank’s Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears requires mortgage lenders to operate a Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) for people in mortgage difficulty. The lender must refer you to sources of information and advice, such as MABS and keepingyourhome.ie. MABS publishes a series of guides and leaflets on dealing with mortgage debt. The Central Bank has created an infographic on mortgage arrears and published information explaining the CCMA and how it works.
As part of the MARP, you must assemble all of your financial details and fill out a standard financial statement (SFS) for your lender, so that they can assess your financial position and work out the best solution. MABS can help you to complete this statement. It has worked with the Central Bank to develop a consumer guide to completing an SFS.
Additional information and support is available at:
The Citizens Information Website has details of other services and supports including: Urgent Needs Payments, Exceptional Needs Payments etc
Insolvency Service of Ireland
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has up to date information on financial products including mortgage and credit card rates and calculators etc