Money Advice and Budgeting Service
If you’re behind in your mortgage payments, you may be worried about losing your home.
Talk to your lender. If you can’t - talk to MABS.
MABS now has a dedicated confidential, free, and independent mortgage arrears service.
MABS is a one-stop-shop for mortgage debt advice and referral.
No matter what your situation is, MABS will help you work out the next steps.
Take control of what happens next.
Call MABS today on 0818 07 2000 for independent information, advice and referral.
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 the Abhaile scheme.
Services provided by MABS
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:
- Help you deal with your debts and make out a budget
- Review your income to make sure that you are not missing any entitlements
- Contact your creditors for you, with offers of payment that you can afford
- Help you decide on the best way to make the payments
MABS has agreed a protocol (pdf) 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
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. The Central Bank has created an infographic on mortgage arrears and published information explaining the CCMA and how it works (pdf).
As part of the MARP, you must assemble all of your financial details and fill out a standard financial statement (SFS) (pdf) 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 a Standard Financial Statement (pdf).
Dedicated Mortgage Arrears (DMA) service
MABS provide Dedicated Mortgage Arrears (DMA) advisers to provide independent expert advice if you have difficulty with mortgage arrears. DMA advisers can help you find out what type of financial, insolvency or legal services you need and help you to access them.
MABS provides money management education and produces a range of publications. It also provides money tools to help with understanding and planning your money and tackling any debts. These and other useful resources are available on mabs.ie.
What you can do yourself
MABS provides Money Tools that can help you
- Manage your money
- Find out if you are in difficulty and where to get help
- Make a plan to deal with debts
You can use the My Budget tool to help you work out a budget plan. It shows how much money you have coming in and going out over a year, and how much is left over or by how much you are short. MABS has advice on managing your money to make it go further.
If you are not sure whether you are in financial difficulty yet, you can use the MABS tool My Financial Healthcheck to find where to get the information, advice and support you need.
If you want to work out a plan to tackle one or more debts you can use the MABS tool My Full Financial Picture. It shows how much money you have coming in and going out and how much is leftover or short for paying bills and debts. It includes space to record bills, credit, assets and debts, giving you a total debt figure.
The information you gather will help you to follow the steps to deal with your debt:
How MABS can help you
MABS provides a confidential service and will not discuss your situation with anyone without your signed agreement. MABS will give you information and support you in making decisions, but will not tell you what to do about your debts and payments. You are the person who decides.
If you contact the MABS Helpline - see ' Where to apply' below - an adviser will talk you through your money concerns and give you some advice. They can send you some information and materials to help you to address your money problems. You may be able to deal with the issues yourself at this stage, or you may need to see a money adviser face-to-face in a MABS office. The face-to-face service is by appointment only.
When you contact MABS, it is important to tell them about anything very urgent, for example, if you are being taken to court or your electricity is to be disconnected. In cases like these, you may be able to get an emergency appointment.
To be able to help you, the MABS adviser will need as much information as possible about your financial situation. You will need to collect any bills, statements, account books, payslips, or social welfare receipts that you have, as well as any letters that your creditors have sent, even if you haven’t opened them.
The adviser will:
- Look at all your income and ensure that you are getting all your entitlements
- Check through all your debts and ensure that you are the person who is liable for them
- Help you to work out how much you need to cover your everyday needs
- Give you advice on budgeting
- Draw up a financial statement for use when dealing with your creditors
- Help you to decide which of your debts have the highest priority
- Help you to work out a payment plan – how much you can afford to pay each week off each debt
- Negotiate with your creditors on your behalf, if you wish
- Provide support while you deal with your debts
- Refer you to other services and contact them on your behalf, if you wish
- Help to arrange to pay regular amount off your debts, as agreed with your creditors
- Refer you to someone who can help with a personal insolvency option if appropriate
Where to apply
Use the MABS tool My Financial Healthcheck as a starting point for information, advice and support.
Ring the MABS Helpline: 0818 07 2000 (9am - 8pm, Monday - Friday) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact your local MABS office for an appointment to meet a money adviser.