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Banks given more freedom to chase mortgage arrears

BANKS have been given more freedom to contact under-pressure homeowners.

The Central Bank yesterday relaxed the rules limiting the contact lenders can make with those in arrears.

The rules on the amount of contact banks can have with borrowers were toughened at the start of this year to ensure banks do not harass customers.

But yesterday Central Bank director Bernard Sheridan said the rules that banned banks from calling to the homes of borrowers without first getting consent would now be eased.

Banks were also prohibited from making unsolicited contact with borrowers who are behind on their payments more than three times in a month.

There had been furious lobbying by banks about the rules, which they said hindered genuine attempts to sort out arrears.

The new rules mean banks will still be limited to three contacts a month, but banks will only have to count "successful communications".

Irish Independent