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Saturday 30 August 2014

Mortgage 'champion' to help AIB customers

Sarah McCabe

Published 04/11/2013 | 02:00

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HOMEOWNERS who can't pay their AIB mortgages will have access to a new negotiation service led by consumer champion David Hall.

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Mr Hall and his distressed borrowers' group, the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO), have been engaged by AIB to act as a mediator between the bank and mortgage holders in difficulty.

The deal – which will be announced today – represents the first time that a lender has agreed to work directly with a consumer group in this way.

It could pave the way for other banks to engage with debt advocacy groups.

It will come as welcome news to the 22.7pc of AIB mortgage holders in arrears of over 90 days or more – a figure of about 14,000 mortgages.

"We can talk about this mortgage crisis for the next few years or we can move to the next level and make an effort to solve it," said Mr Hall.

Mr Hall was highly critical of comments made by AIB chief executive David Duffy earlier this year, when he alleged that 20pc of customers in arrears were defaulting strategically.

It is not yet clear whether AIB will fund the IMHO's services, though reports over the weekend suggested this would be the case.

In less positive news for mortgage holders, it has emerged that the Government has plans to fast-track the repossession of buy-to-lets and other investment properties.

According to the 'Sunday Business Post', the new model will be based on the Commercial Court.

The fast-track process should help to calm concerns voiced by the troika, which has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the slow pace of repossessions in Ireland.

Irish Independent

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