Belfast Telegraph

New rules will alleviate home repossessions in the south

By Charlie Weston

Banks and building societies in the Republic will find it more difficult to repossess homes under new rules to be issued by the Financial Regulator, it has emerged.

The regulations will allow those having difficulty repaying their mortgage to have the current one-year moratorium on repossessions rolled over for a number of years.

The new rules will form part of an updated statutory code on mortgage arrears to be introduced by the Financial Regulator.

The changes are on foot of recommendations made last month by the Government-appointed expert group on mortgage arrears.

However, some mortgage lenders are understood to be annoyed about the new code, which they feel will make it virtually impossible to repossess a home when someone is not acting in good faith.

They are also upset about the fact that all lenders will have to adopt the same process when attempting to repossess a home from someone who is in arrears.

The new code is set to be issued today as a consultation document. The regulator plans to implement the new code by the autumn.

As part of the code all lenders will have to put in place a uniform mortgage arrears resolution process (MARP).

Struggling homeowners who co-operate with this MARP process will benefit from a one-year moratorium on repossessions.