The State’s money advice service has helped 300,000 people in financial distress over the past six years.
Figures released by MABS to RTÉ News indicate that since 2009, close to half its clients were helped face-to-face to deal with debts amounting to €2.5bn.
The service – which is free and confidential – says it’s concerned that many people are paying other organisations for advice on indebtedness.
According to official figures, to date this recession has pushed over half a million people into enforced deprivation.
The Money Advice and Budgeting Service has acted for many of them.
Half its clients have mortgages, and inevitably some fall into arrears.
MABS criticised the mortgage-to-rent scheme for being too restrictive and also for the veto it says has been given to lenders over its operation.
The Department of the Environment says about 2,600 applications have been made for the housing association-based scheme.
But only 64 have been successful to date and another 442 are being processed actively .
A further 1,000 are with lenders who are seeking the borrowers’ consent for independent valuations and other actions to be carried out.