Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) A helpful guide for customers

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1 Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) A helpful guide for customers

2 01 MARP A helpful guide for customers

3 Our commitment to you At Lapithus we understand how important your home is and in these difficult economic times, the challenges that individuals and families sometimes face to meet their mortgage payments. Your mortgage lender Tanager Limited is not regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland but as you may know, Tanager has always adhered to the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears on a voluntary basis. In response to the recent introduction of the Consumer Protection Act 2015, Tanager has appointed Lapithus Management Limited (Lapithus) to carry out all loan administration activities in relation to your mortgage account. Lapithus is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) as a credit servicing firm; as defined under the terms of the act. You will see no change. Lapithus, acting on behalf of Tanager will continue to abide by the terms of the CCMA and will comply with the requirements of the new law. Your dedicated case handler will continue to manage your account in a compliant and professional manner. So if you are worried about any aspect of your mortgage loan with Tanager, then please talk to us. We are only a phone call away. Telephone: (Lo-Call) 02

4 Do I need help? Whether you are currently in arrears or facing financial difficulties, Lapithus understands that people s circumstances can change. You may have been affected by one of the following: Unemployment A reduction in work Unexpected bills Relationship breakdown Over-commitment Health issues Whatever your circumstances and whatever the reason you are struggling to keep up with your mortgage payments, we understand that it is not easy to ask for help. However the earlier you do this, the more we can assist you. Lapithus MARP process Here at Lapithus, we have an easy to follow process that guides you step by step towards what we hope will be a mutually beneficial and sustainable resolution. Lapithus MARP is split into four key parts as follows: Step 1. Communication Step 2. Financial Information Step 3. Assessment Step 4. Resolution 03 MARP A helpful guide for customers

5 Step 1 Communication We cannot help you unless we know what the problem is. We recognise that talking about payment difficulties can be stressful and at times upsetting. We are here to help and have a highly trained team of associates in our Arrears Support Unit, (ASU), who are happy to support you and will work with you to find a solution that suits your circumstances. Each case is assessed on its own merits and we have a range of alternative solutions that we can tailor to your needs. We won t pressure you into making an immediate decision because we recognise the importance of these discussions and that you need time to consider your options. You can get in touch with us at: Tanager Limited PO Box Dublin 24 Our phone number is (Lo-Call) If you re calling from abroad it s We are open from 9am to 8pm Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 5pm on Friday. You can find out useful information by clicking on our website at: Alternatively, we have trained representatives who can visit you at home to discuss your circumstances. If you would like someone to come and visit you please contact Lapithus at and we can set this up at a time that suits you. 04

6 Step 2 Financial Information Whatever plan we agree with you, you need to know that this is affordable and sustainable for you, so that you can keep to the commitments that you make. When we make contact with you, we will ask you to fill in a Standard Financial Statement (SFS). This is a form that provides a complete picture of your household income and what you are spending. Once we have this information, we will better understand your circumstances and this will help Lapithus tailor a solution for your own unique situation. Our ASU team is happy to assist you in completing this and all we ask is that you complete the SFS as thoroughly as you can and provide evidence to us of your income and expenses. The easiest way to do this is to supply copies of your pay slips covering the last three months, and any confirmation of Social Welfare payments, Mortgage Interest Supplement and Family Income Supplement. Don t worry if you are self employed, just send us the last six month s bank statements for your business and a letter from your accountant outlining the current year s earnings and your business future prospects. You can fill in this form at home, or a member of the ASU team can call you at a time that is convenient and can take this information over the phone. 05 MARP A helpful guide for customers

7 Did you know? Please consider what you spend your money on. If your finances are stretched, are there any areas in which you could cut back or where you don t need to spend the amount you currently do? Once we have the completed form and the supporting evidence, the ASU team will contact you again to talk about your options. The Central Bank of Ireland has also published a guide to completing the Standard Financial Statement. This guide can be found on its website at Additional free assistance is available from your local Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS). Your local branch can be found by phoning lo-call or you can visit their website at: 06

8 Step 3 Step 4 Assessment Resolution The Lapithus ASU team will assess the information provided and will review your completed SFS and the documents you have supplied. We will review what extra income you have to pay your mortgage, your overall level of debt and living expenses. If you are spending more than you are earning, we will provide you with details of independent sources of free advice that may be able to help you to cut back your expenses and prioritise your mortgage and other priority debts. As we have indicated already, we will propose solutions that are tailored to your own requirements, taking your current circumstances fully into account. We will look at your past payment history to obtain a full picture about what your circumstances are and what you can afford. We can then talk to you about the wide range of options that Lapithus can offer its customers. 07 MARP A helpful guide for customers

9 So what are my options? Lapithus is able to offer a mixture of short and long term alternative repayment arrangements to fit your circumstances Short term arrangements 1. Concession This option allows you to reduce your mortgage payment for a period of time, usually six months or less, to help you get back on track if you are facing temporary difficulties. Arrears will continue to build up during any concessionary period but Lapithus will work with you to repay these once the concession ends and your circumstances have improved. 2. Temporary switch to interest only This option involves you paying just the interest on the loan for a short time, instead of both the interest and the capital element of the loan balance. This again is appropriate if you are having temporary difficulties. Your current capital balance will still be outstanding when this arrangement ends and so we will set up an affordable and sustainable plan to help you repay the shortfall in your capital repayments when the arrangement has ended. 3. Temporary switch to part and part This option is likely to be appropriate if you are able to pay some but not all of the capital element due each month. Lapithus will consider allowing you to pay the interest on the loan for a short time and part of the capital repayment that would normally be due. This again is appropriate if you are having temporary difficulties. Your current capital balance will still be outstanding when this arrangement ends and so we will set up an affordable and sustainable plan to help you repay the shortfall in your capital repayments when the arrangement has ended. 4. Moratorium Where there is a short term change in your circumstances, Lapithus will consider a full payment break or moratorium for up to three months. Any deferred payments will have to be repaid over the remaining term of your loan and this may result in you paying additional interest on your mortgage. 08

10 Longer term arrangements 1. Term extensions A term extension to a capital and interest type mortgage is a modification to your loan which allows you to spread the amount payable over a longer period. Overall the amount you pay will increase, but your monthly payments will come down, potentially making your mortgage loan more affordable for you. 2. Capitalisation If you are unable to clear your arrears, but you can manage your monthly payments going forward, Lapithus may consider capitalising your arrears by adding them to your mortgage balance. You will end up paying more in the end and your payments may increase marginally, but Lapithus recognises that this may be a better option for customers who do not have the spare money to make inroads into their arrears. Lapithus will consider allowing this up to a maximum of 5,000 and only once during the life of the mortgage loan. 3. Arrears repayment plans If arrears have built up but your finances have stabilised allowing you to make a contribution each month over and above your normal monthly payment, Lapithus may agree an affordable and sustainable arrangement to clear the arrears by way of a repayment plan that allows you to clear the arrears over several months. Any such arrangement will be based on the disposable income we identify from your SFS. NB: Once we have reviewed your circumstances we will get in touch with you to discuss what we believe is the most appropriate option for you. We recognise that each situation is individual and based upon a customer s proven circumstances. 09 MARP A helpful guide for customers

11 What if none of these options are suitable for me? If the above alternative repayment arrangements are not appropriate for you then we will consider a request from you for the following: 1. Voluntary surrender If you surrender your home then Lapithus will take the property into possession and place it on the open market. We will always try and achieve the best price possible for your property and will use the proceeds of the sale to clear your mortgage arrears and to repay or reduce your outstanding mortgage balance. Lapithus is also prepared to assist with re-housing costs should you choose to voluntarily surrender your property. Please contact us for details of the types of costs we would be prepared to cover. 2. Voluntary/supported sale You may feel that your preferred option is to sell your property. By selling, you will be able to use the proceeds from the sale to clear your outstanding arrears and repay or reduce your mortgage balance. Lapithus offers a voluntary/ supported sale scheme that is customer focused and allows you to manage the process and expense associated with the sale of a property. We may be able to offer you help towards the cost of moving or your expenses when selling your property. 3. Trading Down Similar to a supported sale, Lapithus can offer support if you choose to sell your current property and move to a smaller and cheaper alternative. We may be able to offer you help towards the cost of moving or your expenses when selling your property or the cost of alternative accommodation. 4. Debt restructure If your loan is not affordable then Lapithus will review your circumstances and may suggest a loan modification or a restructuring of your loan agreement that will enable you to recommence payments at a level that is tailored to your proven individual circumstances and which is affordable and sustainable for you. 5. Mortgage to rent The Mortgage to Rent scheme is a State assisted scheme whereby you agree to sell your property to an Approved Housing Authority which allows you to remain in your property, as a tenant paying rent to the authority. If you would like further information on any of these options, please contact us by telephone or in writing. 10

12 Further information on our options Costs Costs incurred in the sale of your property including repairs, advertising and conveyancing will apply as necessary. Solicitor and auctioneer costs will vary depending on the firm that you use. As stated previously however, Lapithus may be able to assist towards some of these costs. Your ongoing liability If your property is sold then each customer named on the mortgage will be liable for any shortfall incurred if the sale proceeds do not clear the remaining balance (including any accrued interest, charges, legal fees, selling and other related costs). Until your mortgage is paid in full, you will continue to be liable for monthly repayments based on the revised amount outstanding and interest will to be charged on this balance. A review of your circumstances Lapithus will continue to review your circumstances to ensure that you are on the most appropriate arrangement for your situation. Please continue to co-operate with these reviews, for example by submitting an updated SFS when requested by us. 11 MARP A helpful guide for customers

13 Confidentiality agreements We may ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement as part of an agreed option. You must not disclose this information to anyone except to your advisors and you must ensure that they also keep the information confidential. We would recommend that you seek independent legal or financial advice before signing any such agreement. Keep in touch It is important that you keep Lapithus informed about any changes to your circumstances. Whether your situation improves or gets worse, if we know about this then we can make an informed decision about how to proceed. NB: Each of the above options can be explained in more detail by our team of experts but it is important that you seek independent and impartial advice about the implications of these alternatives. We would also strongly recommend that you check any insurance arrangements that you have in place, e.g. Life insurance policies or Mortgage Payment Protection polices, to make sure that these cover any changes we agree to implement on your mortgage account. 12

14 Non co-operative customers What are the implications for non co-operative customers? It is vitally important that you co-operate at all times with Lapithus and that you are open and honest about your circumstances and financial situation. If any of the following applies to you then Lapithus may consider you to be non co-operative: You fail to make a full and honest disclosure of information to us that has a significant impact on your financial situation. or You fail to provide Lapithus with information requests that are relevant to your financial situation, within the timescales specified by us. or A three month period elapses where you have not entered into an alternative repayment arrangement, and during which you have failed to meet your mortgage repayments in full or if you meet your mortgage repayments in full but have an arrears balance on your mortgage. or You do not meet the full repayments required as specified in an alternative repayment arrangement and have not made contact with Lapithus or responded to any communications from us. or You have made contact with or responded to any communications from Lapithus but have not engaged with us in a manner that allows us to complete an assessment of your circumstances and you have not carried out the actions specified in a letter from Lapithus, warning you that you may be deemed as non co-operative. If we classify you as non co-operative we may start legal proceedings to take possession of your property. This may impact on your eligibility for a personal insolvency arrangement under the criteria set out in the Personal Insolvency Act If you fail to co-operate then you will fall outside of Lapithus MARP process and the protections you have under MARP will no longer apply. Appeals We hope that our customers consider our processes to be fair and transparent, however Lapithus recognises that there may be occasions when its customers wish to appeal a decision that has been made. Lapithus has a fair and impartial appeals process in place, overseen by individuals who are suitably qualified and experienced to decide on a fair outcome. 13 MARP A helpful guide for customers

15 You have a right to appeal where: An alternative repayment arrangement has been offered by Lapithus and you are not willing to enter into the alternative repayment arrangement. If we have declined to offer an alternative repayment arrangement to you. Where Lapithus has classified you as non co-operative. You have the right to appeal to Lapithus appeal board up to 22 days after you receive notification of our decision. All appeals must be made in writing and addressed to: The Appeals Board Tanager Limited PO Box Dublin 24 Lapithus will acknowledge your appeal within five days of receipt and will keep you updated every 20 days with the progress of your appeal. A final decision will be communicated to you in writing within 40 days of Lapithus having received your appeal. This decision will explain fully the reasons behind our final decision. Complaints Lapithus is committed to treating customers fairly and offering high quality customer service. However, if you feel that we have not done so or have not complied with the Code of Conduct for Mortgage Arrears we will review your case as part of our standard complaints procedure and will address your concerns fairly and as quickly as possible. Lapithus will acknowledge your complaint within five days of receipt and will keep you updated every 20 days with the progress of your complaint. A final decision will be issued to you in writing once we have completed our investigations. In any event we will issue a response within 8 weeks. You can complain to Lapithus by writing to us at: Complaints Department Tanager Limited PO Box Dublin 24 or by phoning us on (Lo-Call) If you still remain dissatisfied or in the unlikely event of us not issuing our Final Response within 40 working days of us initially receiving your complaint, you have the option to refer the matter to the Financial Service Ombudsman Bureau. At this point our Internal Complaints Procedure is considered to have been exhausted. Should you now wish to refer your complaint to the Financial Service Ombudsman Bureau (which must take place within 28 days of receiving our Final Response), please find below the relevant contact details: Financial Services Ombudsman s Bureau 3rd Floor Lincoln House Lincoln Place Dublin 2 Lo Call: Telephone: Fax: financialombudsman.ie It is important to remember that you will need to complete our Internal Complaints Procedure before the Ombudsman will review your concerns. However, we believe that we should be able to resolve any issues without reference to a third party. 14

16 Useful contacts Contacts The following is a list of helpful contacts that you may find useful: Lapithus A copy of this booklet and additional information including a copy of the Standard Financial Statement is available on our website at: National Consumer Agency The National Consumer Agency provides consumer information and performs the education functions on behalf of the Central Bank of Ireland. This includes providing information on the Code. The following websites provide useful information for customers: Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) MABS is a free confidential and independent service in the Republic of Ireland for people in financial difficulty. Telephone: Central Bank of Ireland The Central Bank s website provides independent information on financial products and details of financial services providers. On the website you can find the text of the Code as well as a consumer guidance note Mortgage Arrears A Consumer Guide to dealing with your Lender which you may find useful. Telephone: MARP A helpful guide for customers

17 Citizens Information Board The Citizens Information Board helps people access comprehensive and clear information relating to social services. Citizens Information Centres are located around the country. Lo Call: (Monday to Friday 9.30am-5.30pm) Department of Social Protection The website of the Department of Social Protection provides information about Job Seekers Allowance, Mortgage Interest Supplement and other welfare benefits in the Republic of Ireland. Office of the Revenue Commissioners The website of the Revenue Commissioners offers information on tax credits and benefits you may be entitled to in the Republic of Ireland, including Mortgage Interest Relief. Insolvency Service of Ireland The Insolvency Service of Ireland is a statutory body set up under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 and its role includes the provision of information to the public relating to the Act. Insolvency Service of Ireland, Block 2, Phoenix House, Conyngham Road, Dublin 8. Telephone: Financial Services Ombudsman s Bureau 3rd Floor Lincoln House Lincoln Place Dublin 2 Lo Call: Telephone: Fax: financialombudsman.ie 16

18 Please note carefully the following information relating to Irish Housing Loans covered under the Irish Consumer Credit Act 1995 and the Consumer Protection Code. Warning: Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other loan secured on it. If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. Variable rate loans: Your payment rate may be adjusted by Lapithus from time to time; you will be given appropriate notice of any changes however the cost of your monthly payments may increase. Interest-only mortgages: The entire amount that you have borrowed will still be outstanding at the end of the interest only period. You are responsible for ensuring that you have an adequate repayment method in place to repay your loan in full when it matures. For endowment linked loans, there is no guarantee that the proceeds of the endowment insurance policy will be sufficient to repay the loan in full when it becomes due for repayment. Fixed rate loans: Lapithus may impose a redemption charge if you choose to repay your loan early. Full details are available upon request. Tracker rate mortgages: If you choose to switch to an alternative rate of interest you are not contractually entitled to switch back to a tracker interest rate in the future. 17 MARP A helpful guide for customers

19 18

20 Tanager Limited PO Box Dublin 24 Telephone: (lo-call) Registered office: Huguenot House, St Stephen s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland Directors: D Conway; K Lawlor; B Tuite, S Colquhoun (British), P Mabry (German) Registered in Ireland: Company No Code 158 MARP 04/16-3 April 2016

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