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MABS offices will help you deal with finances in a holistic way

April 14th, 2015 1:18 PM

By Southern Star Team

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NewsEvery Year brings new challenges and new opportunities, but it doesn’t always mean a clean sheet. It doesn’t, for example, mean that the money worries you faced last year have gone away.

If you need help why not phone West Cork MABS on 0761 07 2450 or email the office at [email protected] It is the only free, State-provided service that has a national network; where clients can talk face-to-face with an experienced advisor; be given the time and space to present their financial situation; and be given appropriate personal assistance to resolve it comprehensively.

West Cork MABS is established more than 16 years and is centrally located with an office in Dunmanway, as well as providing outreach availability in Bandon, Bantry, Castletownbere, Clonakilty, Macroom, and Skibbereen.

In 2014, people in employment and those on social welfare used the service in equal measure so it is a myth to suggest that MABS is only for people in receipt of social welfare.

MABS has vast experience dealing with a variety of complex situations. They deal with individuals and families in debt and they stay with them as long as it takes.

Most debt problems arise when people experience a change in a circumstance that leaves them unable to meet their commitments. This can be due to separation, addiction, the loss of a job, mental health concerns, a birth, ill health or bereavement. But whatever the cause the effects of unmanageable debt can be devastating to people and their families.

The strength of MABS is that it has a nationally recognised system of negotiating with the entire credit industry that is accepted by all parties and has been in place for years. MABS, in conjunction with Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), have reached an agreement whereby a protocol is now in place. The protocol was updated in December 2014 and sets out how creditors (ie the banks) and money advisors work in partnership to set up an affordable and sustainable way to repay customers debts.

Under the protocol it may be possible to arrange a repayment plan, which will not exceed seven years from the date the new plan is put in place, prior to this no time limit existed. It commits BPFI creditors to work with MABS to resolve customer debt problems in an effective and realistic manner.

Insolvency Options and Debt Relief Notice: For those people who are on low income and have unsecured debt, little or no assets, a debt write off of up to €20,000 may be availed of through MABS in the form of a Debt Relief Notice. This is a formal, legally binding solution where by unmanageable debt is completely written off after three years, subject to certain rules.

Personal Insolvency Arrangement and Debt Settlement Arrangement: For debts in excess of €20,000, people have the option of engaging with a Personal Insolvency Practioner who would take them through the options of a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) or Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA). For further information contact the ISI website: www.isi.gov.ie.

Bankruptcy: The cost to individuals of filing for bankruptcy in Ireland has been drastically reduced to €270 from about €1,400, a year ago, in a bid to make the process more affordable for those in financial distress. The lower fees for bankruptcy were introduced on December 31st 2014. Further information on bankruptcy can be availed of on the ISI website: www.isi.gov.ie.

This is in addition to the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) waiving fees until the end of 2015 relating to personal insolvency arrangements (PIAs). These previously cost about €500.

West Cork MABS was recently awarded an EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) Gold Star Service Excellence Award. The award is a formal recognition of the high standards of quality service provided by West Cork MABS and an acknowledgment of the dedication and commitment of both staff and management.

During the EFQM progress a survey was completed requesting feedback from existing and former customers of the service. One person said: ‘I am so happy I took the steps in contacting MABS, my only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. The money advisor was extremely helpful and very open and easy to talk to.’

Others said: ‘Great help and information given’ and ‘MABS is definitely a very important service to have access to. It is a crucial service for people like myself, who are having mortgage affordability problems.’

West Cork MABS deals with people in a holistic way, staying with them as long as it takes whether the money owed relates to mortgages or moneylenders and everything else in between.

If you need help, phone West Cork MABS today on 0761 07 2450 or email [email protected]

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