BANK OF IRELAND has announced a new range of product features that will allow more customers in negative equity to move home.
The following were launched in line with Central Bank of Ireland guidelines:
- Trade Up Negative Equity: This will enable customers who are in negative equity to sell their current home and move to a higher value property, carrying over an amount of negative equity to the new mortgage. This may be suited for customers who need to move home for work reasons, or those with a growing family who need to move to a larger home, said the bank.
- Trade Down Negative Equity: This will enable customers who are in negative equity to sell their current home and move to a lower value property, while carrying an amount of negative equity to the new mortgage. This may suit customers whose children have grown up and moved out of home, said Bank of Ireland.
Customers who want to avail of them will have to undergo a full assessment and have to demonstrate that they can afford the new mortgage.
Jonathan Byrne, Head of Mortgages ROI, said:
In a changing mortgage market, the best providers will meet the needs of customers by being innovative and flexible, and delivering options such as these, that really do make a difference.
He said that the majority of Bank of Ireland customers are not in financial difficulty but some of those who purchased homes, particularly in the last six or seven years, are currently in negative equity.
Whilst this is only a problem for those who want or need to move, some customers may have experienced changes in their lifestyles such as getting married, having children or changing jobs, and now need to move home. Many of these customers can afford the new repayments associated with a new mortgage but the negative equity was previously blocking their move. We are now positioned to help more of our customers who find themselves in this situation, and who can afford the new mortgage, to carry out property transactions.
These new features will be available to existing Bank of Ireland mortgage customers from today and customers can avail of any Bank of Ireland new business fixed or variable rate available when they drawdown their mortgage.
Bank of Ireland has also announced a new long-term resolution option that may be suitable for certain customers who are in difficulty, and who are participating in the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP).
This new trade-down option will enable eligible borrowers (who have experienced a permanent drop in income) to trade down to a less expensive property and reduce their mortgage “to a more affordable and sustainable level”.
They may also carry forward negative equity to their new mortgage. The bank said that suitability for this option will be discussed on a case by case basis with the customers.