This article was originally published by RTE.
The chief executive of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation has encouraged vulnerable people who are under immense pressure with mortgage arrears to consider a newly-enhanced mortgage-to-rent scheme.
iCare Housing is an approved not-for-profit housing organisation set up by the IMHO specifically to allow people in mortgage difficulty to stay in their homes.
Under the scheme, iCare buys out the loan from the banks at a discount.
The new scheme on offer from Permanent TSB is for the bank’s customers who are in long-term arrears and who qualify for social housing.
The scheme offers families a 30 year-lease with no court proceedings, a write-off of their mortgage debt and a more streamlined process than previously.
David Hall stressed that while changing to a mortgage-to-rent scheme is a sacrifice for many people who then become tenants, it is a very good option for people who have struggled for many years.
Those who take up the option surrender their home to the custody of the bank.
iCare purchases it and if circumstances change over the 30 year tenancy, customers can buy it back for the same price as it was bought from bank for.
The criteria to qualify for the scheme includes homes valued at up to €365,000 in Dublin and €280,000 outside Dublin – the level of arrears is irrelevant.
Mr Hall said that PTSB have come to the table very willingly and he praised the efforts of the Housing Agency and the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy in instigating the scheme with iCare.
Mr Hall said he is very confident that hundreds of homes are to soon be offered by banks and vulture funds for purchase allowing the option to immediately house people rather than place people in emergency accommodation.
Jeremy Masding, CEO of Permanent TSB said that David Hall and the IMHO have built a compelling Mortgage To Rent solution which will be an important part of the bank’s response to customers in mortgage difficulties.
“This approach will also play a limited role in reducing our ratio of non-performing loans. We believe it will make a real difference to the situation facing many customers,” Mr Masding said.
In September, AIB also agreed a deal with the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation and iCare Housing which will see the bank buy out hundreds of homes from distressed mortgage holders.