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Free €15m legal aid scheme launched in Republic for distressed mortgage holders

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said government was committed to helping struggling homeowners
Staff Reporter

PROPERTY owners in the Republic who are at risk of losing their homes are to benefit from a new €15 million scheme.

A pilot of the government service, known as Abhaile, has already helped about 1,000 distressed homeowners.

It offers legal and financial advice and is free for those who are eligible - mortgage-holders who are in arrears and insolvent.

The number of people in mortgage arrears has been falling in the Republic but there are still 35,000 accounts in arrears of 720 days or more.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said many had been served repossession orders, and others were at risk of losing their homes.

"The government is committed to ensuring that homeowners who are struggling with mortgage arrears, and are at risk of losing their homes, can access independent expert advice and help on getting solutions into place," she said.

Lorcan O'Connor, director of the Insolvency Service of Ireland, said it was important for people to recognise that there were solutions and supports available.

"In launching our information campaign, we hope that message will resonate clearly with those that need our help," he said.

"This campaign, combined with the supports available under 'Abhaile' should ensure that many more people come forward for help over the coming months."

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