Saturday 1 October 2016

AIB most likely to offer mortgage deal to those in arrears

Published 19/05/2015 | 02:30

David Hall
David Hall

Bank of Ireland has come bottom of a list ranking how accommodating lenders are to those in mortgage arrears.

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The survey was carried out by the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO), which provides assistance to homeowners in mortgage arrears.

It ranked AIB and its subsidiary EBS at the top of the league as they are more eager to offer solutions to those deep in mortgage distress.

Bank of Ireland is on record as saying it does not write off mortgage debt.

And the bank did not write off debts in any of the arrears cases looked at for the survey.

The criteria used in the ranking process include willingness to write off debt, eagerness to resort to legal actions, treatment of vulnerable customers and adherence to Central Bank rules for dealing with those in debt default. KBC Bank was high up the list of banks for being more accommodating to those in arrears.

Ulster Bank ranked third in the league of banks for dealing with those in mortgage trouble.

The British-owned bank said recently it would write off any residual mortgage debt in cases where customers surrendered their home to it and are eligible for social housing.

Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland notes that the survey was undertaken by an organisation that has established commercial arrangements in place with AIB and KBC, some of the organisations surveyed.

"Only a negligible level (circa 0.01pc) of our mortgage account holders in arrears have requested us to engage with IMHO on their behalf. It is therefore difficult to understand the basis on which IMHO has drawn its conclusions in relation to Bank of Ireland."

But David Hall of the IMHO denied the fact that his organisation has agreements with AIB and KBC to act as third-party intermediaries had influenced the outcome of the survey.

The research looked at 253 mortgage restructures at eight different lenders. These were among the 3,576 mortgage holders the IMHO acted for last year.

Mr Hall said Bank of Ireland was ranked at the bottom of the list as it does not reduce interest rates for those unable to pay.

The bank does not write off residual debt when a home is sold or surrendered by those with an unsustainable mortgage.

AIB and EBS have offered a range of different debt write-offs to its customers over recent years, including split mortgage deals.

Irish Independent

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