This article was originally published by The Business Post.
Many see no way out of mortgage arrears, as they have lost employment and income following the crash.
We are all aware of the mortgage arrears crisis that still looms.
Since 2013, The Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, a registered charity, has done deals for 8,000 people who were in debt.
Some 90 per cent have stayed in their homes.
In recent years, it became clear that a significant percentage of people who were contacting us simply had no money.
These are people who through no fault of their own lost their job or have had reduced hours following the crash.
Some are sick, have faced family or marital breakdown, suffer with mental health issues, or have developed a physical disability.
No meaningful solution has been provided to these people and the policy of welcoming vultures with open arms doesn’t provide these people a dignified solution.
So, how does the iCare solution work:
If borrowers are in court facing repossession, we are encouraging them to contact us, complete the financial paperwork, which we will help them with; and we go talk to the bank. When we do this, any existing legal proceedings will be adjourned.
Borrowers must be eligible for social housing and their home must not exceed valuation thresholds (€280k outside Dublin & €365k in Dublin).
iCare Housing will purchase their home at a discounted price from PTSB.
The borrowers will sign a 30-year lease and now become a tenant of iCare Housing.
The borrowers’ mortgage debt is fully written off.
The bank will inform the borrower in writing of the discounted price iCare Housing will pay for their home, and the figure is also contained in the borrower’s lease agreement.
The price option will not change irrespective of what value the house reaches.
iCare will mind their home while they get back on their feet again.
Nearly all banks and vulture funds are, to be fair, participating in mortgage to rent. Not all have agreed to the terms we have signed with AIB, EBS, Haven and now PTSB, but they are cooperating.
Many people are weary, feeling embattled, and have had little hope.
This is hope, standing up and waving at you.