You can contact the Mortgage Arrears Information Helpline on 0761 07 4050
Overview: For homeowners
Many people are finding it difficult to keep up with mortgage repayments or are in mortgage arrears.
If you think you are likely to fall behind in your mortgage payments, the most important step you can take is to contact your lender as soon as possible.
Where to get advice and help
If you find yourself having difficulty with mortgage repayments, there are several sources of advice and help available.
MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, can advise you on dealing with mortgage arrears as well as other forms of problem debt. The MABS helpline 0761 07 2000 is open from 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. The Mortgage Arrears Information Helpline is now operated by MABS and is available either at 0761 07 4050 or through the MABS helpline.
You can also contact your local Citizens Information Centre for face-to face information and advice, phone the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.
Mortgage arrears: contacting your lender
The most important thing to do if you think you are likely to fall into mortgage arrears is to contact your mortgage lender and let them know the situation. Our document on mortgage arrears gives some information on your options.
Mortgage arrears and consumer protection codes
Lenders must abide by specified codes of conduct in dealing with people who have problems paying their mortgage. These codes of conduct provide protection for borrowers. Read more in our document on mortgage arrears and consumer protection codes.
The Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP)
Under the Central Bank's Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA), lenders must operate a Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) with customers who are in mortgage arrears or who are likely to fall into mortgage arrears (pre-arrears). Read more about the steps involved in the MARP.
Alternative repayment arrangements
After assessing your situation under the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process, your lender may offer you an alternative repayment arrangement - often called a mortgage restructure. Read more about the types of arrangements available and some points to consider when assessing the offer.
Initiatives on mortgage arrears and personal debt
The interlinked problems of mortgage arrears and personal debt have given rise to a series of initiatives. Find out more about these responses, which include new personal insolvency options and easier access to bankruptcy.
Mortgage interest supports
Tax relief on mortgage interest payments is no longer available for mortgages taken out after 31 December 2012, but if your mortgage started before this date, you are probably already claiming the relief. Find out more about mortgage interest relief.
The Mortgage Interest Supplement scheme has been closed to new applicants since 1 January 2014 and is being wound down over a 4-year period.
Mortgage protection and mortgage repayment policies
Most private residential mortgages are covered by a mortgage protection policy, which comes into play in the event of your death. You may also have a mortgage repayment policy or some other form of insurance that offers financial support if you lose your job or otherwise experience a fall in income. Read more about insurance protection on mortgages.
You may be able to earn some extra income to help with your mortgage repayments if you have a spare room or rooms in your home. Under the Rent-a-room scheme, if you rent out a room (or rooms) in your own home to private tenants, up to €12,000 of your rental income in any tax year will be exempt from income tax, subject to certain conditions.
Selling your home and voluntary surrender ('handing back the keys')
If you sell your home and the sale does not cover the outstanding mortgage on the home, you should note that you will still owe the difference to the lending institution. Find out more about some of the implications if you sell or voluntarily surrender your home.
Under the national mortgage-to-rent scheme, people who are having trouble paying their mortgages can switch from owning their home to renting their home as social tenants. If you take up the mortgage-to-rent option, you will no longer own your home or have any financial interest in it.