How Can the Abhaile Scheme Save My Home (And Get My Finances Back on Track)February 26, 2018
At Insolvency Help Ltd. we are part of the Abhaile Scheme. Abhaile is a government funded scheme for homeowners in Ireland to get free initial advice and help from financial and legal experts when they’re in mortgage arrear.
As with most things legal and financial, information is often overwhelming and complex.
We don’t think that’s fair. So, in this article we’ll look into what the Abhaile Scheme is and how we as personal insolvency practitioners can help struggling homeowners.
If by the end of this article you’re still confused or have realised that this is just what you need, then please get in touch to book a initial meeting.
Let’s get started.
What is the Abhaile scheme?
The Government created the Abhaile Scheme to help and advise homeowners who are insolvent* and in serious mortgage arrear.
The Scheme allows individuals to access free initial advice from a list of independent expert advisors, including personal insolvency practitioners (PIPs), accountants, Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS) and dedicated mortgage arrears advisors. The advice is confidential and without any obligation.
*A person is insolvent when they are unable to pay their debts in full when they fall due.
How does the Abhaile scheme work?
If you are already confused by the terminology of job titles, then fear not. We’ve knit this guide together in a way that everyone will understand.
The first step in qualifying for the Abhaile Scheme is to apply through the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS). Alternatively, you can contact a personal insolvency practitioner (like Insolvency Help Ltd.) and they can help you apply through MABS.
Once MABS have decided that qualify for the Scheme, they will help you get the assistance and personalised advice you need.
Depending on your circumstances, you will be referred to an advisor from one of these five services:
- The Personal Insolvency Practitioner Service
- The Accountant Service
- The Consultation Solicitor Service
- The Duty Solicitor Service
- The Personal Insolvency Court Review Service
The scheme is state funded, so as long as you qualify for the Scheme it is entirely free for you to receive the services you’ve been recommended.
The initial advice can be carried out over phone, email or face to face - whatever suits you.
Do I qualify for the Abhaile Scheme?
To qualify for this scheme you must meet all of the below criteria.
You must be:
- In mortgage arrears (Have outstanding mortgage repayments)
- Insolvent (Not be able to repay your debts in full)
- At risk of losing your home due to mortgage arrears (For example, by receiving a letter from your lender saying that your mortgage is unsustainable)
- Reasonably accommodated (Living in accommodation that is not unjustifiably expensive)
How can I apply for the Abhaile Scheme?
The first thing you need to do is apply for the scheme through MABS.
You can either check the details online, give them a call on 0761 07 2000 or get in touch with one of the PIPs on the Scheme panel. Insolvency Help Ltd is on the Scheme panel so feel free to contact us directly.
Once you have been approved, MABS will advise you what specific services they recommend for you. If you are redirected to a external advisor, you will receive a voucher that you need to bring for your first appointment.
When you are authorised with a voucher, you should use it as soon as possible as it has an expiry date no later than three months after issue.
It is up to yourself, upon approval, to choose and contact your preferred PIP or accountant from the laid out panels.
As soon as you’ve arranged to meet you financial advisor, they will guide you through your options.
It is important that you are completely honest about your financial situation during your meetings so that your advisor is best equipped to help you solve your problems.
If, by the end of your financial advice, your advisor decides that you are in need of legal advice too, they are authorised to pass you on to a legal advisor with a new Abhaile voucher.
How can a personal insolvency practitioner (PIP) help me?
If you are insolvent, a personal insolvency practitioner can help you sort out how to manage and ultimately get out of debt.
The PIP can also provide a great deal of stress relief. As many homeowners are likely to have struggled with a difficult financial situation for a significant period of time, their lives will have been dominated by numerous letters, unpleasant phone calls and unannounced visits.
But that stress can all end by contacting a PIP.
Your PIP will carry out an extensive assessment of your financial situation and then walk you through your options.
Based on your results, your PIP will recommend the best option for you to deal with your mortgage arrears, unsecured debt or a combination of both.
Regardless of the recommendation that your PIP makes, you are guaranteed a reasonable standard of living, meaning you are still in full control of how you wish to spend your allocated reasonable living expenses.
Wondering what your reasonable living expense might be? Check out our debt repayment calculator. It’ll calculate your reasonable allowance as well as how much you’ll need to pay back per month.
As it is impossible to advise everyone through one blog post, we strongly recommend that you Request A Call Back.
We’ll be more than happy to have a quick chat with you about how we can help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.