The debt advice services in Ireland are provided by the Money Debt Advice and Budgeting Service, which is a public body that covers the entire country. The funding of the MABS is purely public and enshrined in national legislation. The quality of debt advice is high , as MABS offers both simple budgeting services, but also handles debt settlement, personal bankruptcy, mortgage debt and so on. Ireland has, in fact, one of the most developed debt advice systems in the EU.
The MABS website has been updated to include details from other departments relating to the current situation as it evolves. The website now includes up to date information on social welfare payments, press releases from the credit industry. We have today (March 18, 2020) updated the website to include some self-help actions people who are impacted can take. The link is very practical and I believe could be used in other countries.
Citizens Information Services
Our delivery partner Citizens Information Services also provide up to date information on their website. This website provides links to all new payments available from our social welfare system.
MABS Services at present
Currently the MABS services are not operating a face to face debt advice service. We remain supporting citizens via phone, email or post as appropriate.
We are actively using social media to help bring awareness to our websites, and to provide clear, accurate information
- We have created MABS twitter handle @mabsinfo and this is kept up to date with national information similar to the websites.
- Our Citizens Information Services already had a twitter presence , Twitter: @citizensinfo.
- MABS have some Instagram and Facebook profiles local to the regional companies. These are posting regular updates on debt and income concerns. Keeping the information up to date as we receive it
- Citizens Information have an active Facebook: @citizensinformation.ie. again providing clear up to date information
Our utility providers have agreed to a current stay on disconnections and are providing access to additional emergency energy. Some banks are offering a payment break. We continue to work with the Banking Payment Federation of Ireland to try reach more solutions. Our 5 main banks are meeting today (March 18, 2020) to review options and we expect (hope) for a standard industry approach.
We will update citizens on this information as it is available to us.
Our courts services have suspended hearings until April 20th which includes repossession and debt collection cases.
Gwen Harris, regional Manager at MABS, has been working with an employee Support Website for the Aviation Industry, called Aviation Zorro. MABS had provided some information previously following the closure of Thomas Cook and some other companies. They have contacted again, as you will imagine they are supporting employees globally and have asked if we had information on support services and debt counselling available across the member countries.
Yesterday (March 18 2020) an agreement was reached with the 5 main banks, they will implement measures to help those affected by the Coronavirus outbreak including a payment break up to three months – Read more Here – Note that vulture funds are not (yet) included in this agreement, although the Minister said he hopes to make progress here in the coming days.