Being in Mortgage Arrears is a difficult position. But there is help at hand. The MARP system is in place to help you negotiate your arrears with your lender. Crucially, during the MARP process a lender cannot institute legal proceedings against a borrower.
MARP stands for the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process. It’s a system devised by the Central Bank of Ireland which requires all lenders (banks and funds) to adhere to a process for borrowers who fall into arrears with their mortgage.
There are 4 steps in the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process. If you’re in mortgage arrears you’ll want to know what each of these steps are and what they mean for you.
MARP STEP 1: All About Co-Operation
In order to be protected by MARP you must be a Co-Operating borrower. This means that you must supply the lender with a Standard Financial Statement (SFS) and supporting documentation. This form is available online or from your lender and care should be taken in filling it out.
Once you have supplied a SFS form you are protected.
MARP STEP 2: Lender Carries Out an Assessment
The lender will consider your SFS. Based on that consideration they will propose a resolution if that is possible.
To begin with the lender will propose a short-term solution, which is usually for 3/6 months. There are a variety of short term solutions, but commonly they require the borrower to pay as much as they can pay.
MARP STEP 3: Offer of Resolution
You will receive an offer of resolution. Offers of resolution may include:
- Paying interest only, or interest and part of the capital, for a period
- Permanently or temporarily reducing the interest rate
- Deferring repayments (or part) for a period
- Extending your mortgage term
- Changing the type of mortgage that you have
- Adding arrears and interest to the principal
- Warehousing part of the mortgage (including through a split mortgage)
- Reducing the principal
- A "deferred interest" or other voluntary scheme
Where the lender determines the debt to be unsustainable they may commence enforcement proceedings.
MARP STEP 4: Appeal
There is a right to appeal any decision made by the lender to an appeals system within the lender. Following this you can also make an appeal to the Financial Services Ombudsman.
Being in mortgage arrears is a very difficult time in your life. It's important to make sure you're informed about your borrower rights and debt negotiation protocol in Ireland. You can find more information about debt negotiation, insolvency and mortgage arrears here on the New Beginning website - and if there is a specific question you have please feel free to send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.