Family Home Mortgage Enforcements-Update

Since the economic crash in 2008 a large amount of cases where there are mortgage arrears on family homes are now reaching the Court system.

Recent statistics show that more than 100 homeowners get free legal aid to assist with their arrears situation. Great to see the new system assisting hard pressed homeowners getting appropriate advice to protect their families homes.

Let’s look at a  number of changes recently which are good to know if you are in this situation.

The enforcement by the lending institutions on family homes has resulted in a number of Court cases which have slowed this process considerably. The first stage for any enforcement proceedings is application to go before the  local County Registrar. Before it can be transferred into a Court list for any question of a Possession Order being granted this is the starting point . In fairness to the County Registrars they have facilitated borrowers at all stages  by allowing adjournments . This is to try and negotiate some restructure of mortgage payments  with their lending institution.

Here, depending on who your Mortgage was with would depend on whether you could come to a suitable agreement.  You may be able to split your mortgage into a section to be “Parked” and a section that you can actually afford.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland was set up to assist people if the debt was unsustainable. In addition in recent times MABS were given more powers to go proactively into the market and try and assist people. They now are appointed by the County Registrar to discuss and negotiate any matter coming before the Court at first instance before any further enforcement proceedings can be taken.

The High Court for its part has also made some Orders which will help borrowers and the present situation is that a person who has been pursued by a bank for a debt is entitled to make full representations to the Court before an award can be made in favour of the bank. They have an automatic right to put their side of the story before a Court hearing so a Court can decide whether or not to grant a judgment against them. What was happening was people were not been represented or coming in themselves to state their position and default judgments were being obtained by banks. The Courts feel this was not equitable and were stressing that the individuals must be contacted and must be before the Court before any Order could be made.

The arrival of MABS and the granting of extra funds and negotiating powers has been a welcome development for hard pressed borrowers and they encourage all persons no matter how bad the debt to discuss with them in a confidential manner what their situation is. The old days where MABS simply dealt with consumer debt are gone and they are now a recognised assistant in relation to all levels of debt and their service is free to all hard pressed borrowers.

As usual if any of these issues are a challenge for you please feel free to give us a call, advice is always on hand.