Tuesday 21 November 2017

Lenders offer 'cash to quit' over homes arrears

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Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Pepper Ireland has said it may offer financial support to customers in mortgage arrears to leave their homes - but only if the borrowers wish to.

Amid a report that cash incentives were being offered to borrowers if they quit homes, Pepper said it was committed to exhausting all options to help customers stay in their homes.

The Australian lender, which took over the mortgages of GE Money here, said one of the options it may offer customers in distress was an Assisted Voluntary Sale (AVS), which could involve financial assistance towards legal, auctioneer or relocation costs.

The 'Sunday Business Post', quoting a letter to one borrower, said this could be a high as €5,000 but a spokesman for Pepper said each case was different.

"In the case of AVS, assistance, advice and financial support are provided for customers who have unsustainable debt and wish to sell their properties in order to reduce or clear their mortgage loan.

"Depending on the personal situation of the borrower, they may be provided with financial assistance towards legal and auctioneer costs, or relocation costs, for example," a Pepper statement said.

Meanwhile, further pressure is being placed on the Central Bank to ease its mortgage deposit rules.

In an interview with the 'Sunday Business Post', chief executive Richie Boucher suggested that the rules on deposit size should be softened but the loan-to income ceiling should remain.

Central Bank governor Philip Lane has said the measures will be reviewed later in the year.

Irish Independent

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