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New body set up to help struggling homeowners

A NEW representative body has been set up by mortgage brokers to put pressure on banks.

The Association of Expert Mortgage Advisers (AEMA) is expected to play a key role in helping indebted householders squeeze a deal out of their lender.

Members of this new group aim to get registered as personal insolvency practitioners (PIPs) so they can represent consumers in financial trouble under the upcoming personal insolvency legislation.

Under the new insolvency system, which is expected to be in operation early next year, people will be able to apply to their bank, with the help of a PIP, to get mortgage and other debts written off.

The new personal insolvency regime will effectively be a soft form of bankruptcy, but outside the courts system.

Any homeowner who applies for a debt deal will have to co-operate with their lender under the mortgage arrears resolution process, which sets out the rules for mortgage holders and lenders when repayments can't be made.

AEMA founder member Trevor Gran said huge numbers of mortgage holders were in financial distress and there was a need to have a group that was expert in home loans to represent them.

The new group will replace the Independent Mortgage Advisers Federation.

Irish Independent