Accountant sessions for thousands in debt crisis
on 07/09/2012 00:00:00
Where a lender is proposing a longer-term mortgage resolution, the borrower will be advised to obtain financial advice on the proposed arrangement.
Ms Burton said the cost of the service would be met entirely by the banks and other lending institutions.
Lenders will pay €250 to an accountant chosen by the borrower who will advise on the implications of the lender's offer during a meeting or meetings lasting one to two hours.
Accountants participating in the scheme will not be able to recommend to mortgage holders whether or not they should accept the lender's offer.
The accountant will look at the lender's proposal and the borrower's financial situation and explain the implications of the offer.
Borrowers will be able to select an accountant at keepingyourhome.ie. About 1,000 accountants are expected to join the panel, which will be available by the middle of the month.
Depending on the numbers who avail of the service, it could cost up to €10m.
Ms Burton said the measure was an integral part of the extensive measures in place through the Citizens Information Board, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service and other providers to better inform at-risk mortgage holders.
The minister said a full review of the operation of the service would be undertaken in June next year to ensure that it is delivering for people with mortgage debt problems.
Ms Burton also said a close eye would be kept on the extent to which banks were actively engaging with distressed borrowers.
"We expect that the banks, which have been propped up at enormous expense to taxpayers in Ireland and elsewhere, should return to the ideal of serving consumers, rather than ripping them off."
She said they expected borrowers to make genuine efforts to meet their obligations in full when they were in a position to do so.
The minister said Ireland's citizens had shown time and time again that they wanted practical solutions to the country's problems, not the violent demonstrations seen elsewhere.
* The Citizens Information Board has a dedicated helpline 0671 07 4050 providing general mortgage arrears information. Information is also available at www.keepingyourhome.ie