Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Mortgage relief

Bad news for Ryanair customers this week, but good news for those struggling with hefty and unsustainable mortgage arrears. In a story broke by the Irish Independent, a deal has been struck between not-for-profit iCare Housing and AIB that will see some families write off their debts by forfeiting their homes. However, the former owners can remain in their homes by paying rent to iCare Housing.

iCare Housing, with campaigner David Hall at the helm, will buy the houses from those in significant arrears, backed by Government funding through the mortgage-to-rent scheme. Households must be eligible for social housing to qualify, with an upper-value limit of €365,000. If their financial circumstances change in the future, the tenants can choose to buy back their homes.

“There are more than 30,000 residential mortgage account holders who are more than two years behind on their payments. These people are at high risk of losing their homes,” writes Charlie Weston.

Ryanair’s reputation

Elsewhere, Ryanair’s reputation is suffering more damage among customers following its announcement that it will cancel a further 18,000 flights. RTÉ reports that approximately 400,000 customers will be affected by the move.

“Based on current booking levels, Ryanair expects the latest cancellations to affect an average of less than one flight per day across its five-month winter schedule,” RTÉ notes. “It said that affected customers have received an email today [Wednesday] giving them between five weeks to five months notice of these schedule changes, offering them alternative flights or full refunds of their airfare.”

Solving online disputes

Finally, the European Consumer Centre Ireland has launched a new ‘Online Dispute Resolution’ platform guide. The guide aims to make it “easier, faster, and less expensive” for consumers and traders to solve online disputes both within Ireland and across borders.

“ECC-Net has found when consumers buy online, particularly from a trader based in another EU country, they are concerned about non-delivery, faulty products, or payment security and what to do when things go wrong. This will allow consumers to fill out an electronic form free of charge, submit it to the platform, and the trader is notified,” says ECC Ireland’s Martina Nee. “Once the consumer and trader agree on an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entity then the platform will automatically transfer the complaint to that independent third party who will work on reaching an outcome within 90 days. ECC Ireland hosts the national ODR contact point with advisors on hand to help anyone who requires support using the ODR platform.”

You can download the guide at eccireland.ie.

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.
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