Budget 2014 provides for the closure of the mortgage interest supplement scheme to new applicants from 1 January 2014 and to provide for a winding down of the scheme for existing recipients over 4 years from this date. The most appropriate way in which customers experiencing short-term mortgage difficulties can be supported is through engagement with their lender under the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP).
From 1st January 2014, Mortgage Interest Supplement scheme is closed to new entrants and no new applications will be received from this date. This measure has no immediate impact on the claims of customers in receipt of Mortgage Interest Supplement prior to 1st January 2014.
Mortgage interest supplement (MIS) provides short-term support towards people’s mortgage interest repayments. The supplement assists with the interest portion of the mortgage repayments but does not help with payment of the capital portion of the loan or with house insurance. Only the portion of the loan that relates to the essential purchase, repair or maintenance of the property is taken into account.
The interest is assessed as the gross monthly interest less mortgage interest relief and any mortgage allowance or mortgage subsidy payable towards the interest part of the mortgage.
To qualify for mortgage interest supplement you must meet the following conditions:
- You must have applied for MIS prior to 1 January 2014.
- You must satisfy the supplementary welfare allowance means test
- You must enter into and comply with an alternative repayment arrangement with your mortgage lender for at least 12 months
- You or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant must not be in full-time employment. Full-time employment is defined as working more than 29 hours a week
- You must not be in full-time education
- You must have been able to afford the repayments when your loan agreement was first agreed
- The amount of mortgage interest payable by you must not be greater than what the Department considers reasonable to meet the your residential and other needs
- The size of the arrears are not greater than what the Department considers reasonable
- You must not be involved in a trade dispute
- You must be habitually resident in the State
- You have not been admitted to an institution (for example, a hospital) for greater than 13 weeks
- You must be lawfully in the State
- You must not be awaiting a decision on an application for asylum under the Refugee Act, 1996
- You must not be awaiting a decision on an application under the Aliens Act, 1935 to remain in the State