Traffic to website for mortgage trouble jumped 78% last year

Traffic to website for mortgage trouble jumped 78% last year

A website provided by the Citizens Information Board for people finding it difficult to pay their mortgage or rent saw a 78% increase in visits last year., established in 2009, received 136,047 visits last year, compared to 76,431 in 2012.

The number of visits to the site has been steadily rising — in 2010 there were 36,397, increasing to 56,222 the following year.

Director of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association, David Hall, said the website usage showed that more people were desperately seeking ways to hold onto their homes.

Mr Hall said he was concerned that lots of people in financial difficulty were not doing enough to deal with their situation.

Since July, banks have been sending letters to people in mortgage arrears claiming that they were being unco-operative.

“During the third quarter of last year alone, 1,830 repossession orders were issued,” said Mr Hall.

“There really needs to be a central one-stop shop so that people in all forms of debt get more than guidance; they get taken though the entire process.”

Mr Hall said that the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (Mabs) that was funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board needed to be put on a standalone statutory footing with an independent board and a dedicated chief executive.

The Citizens Information Board has statutory responsibility for Mabs, which is made up of 52 individual limited voluntary boards.

Mr Hall said it was good that people were accessing the website but they needed to do more than that.

“My message is very simple: Do not sleepwalk into repossession,” he said. “Go and get independent, impartial advice and representation if possible.”

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