An agreement which will help consumers who are struggling with mortgage debt has been reached between two leading agencies.
The deal between the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) will see an information leaflet created for borrowers.
It aims to resolve disputes between lenders and distressed mortgage holders.
Significantly it is now also supported by leading credit servicing firms as well as banks.
The framework provides for how MABS and lenders can work together to try resolve mortgage arrears for those borrowers who have already exhausted the Central Bank's Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) and are entering or are about to enter the legal process.
When initially developed by BPFI and MABS in 2017, the agreement principally covered the country's main banks.
The list of supporting institutions has now been expanded to include the leading credit servicing firms.
In addition, a new consumer information leaflet has been published to accompany the agreement.
Among other points, it makes clear that where a mortgage is sold by a bank to a third party, that party must appoint a credit servicing firm to manage it - and that protections in the Central Bank's Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears still apply.
Speaking on the publication of the framework, BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes said: "Constructive engagement with lenders is key to borrowers in mortgage arrears finding workable resolutions.
"It is never too late to do so, particularly for those in late-stage mortgage arrears - and we in BPFI are pleased to do all we can to facilitate such engagement, such as this BPFI-MABS Framework Agreement.
"We appeal to all people in mortgage arrears to contact their lender as soon as possible if they haven't already done so; or to contact a trusted third party such as the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) among others."
Angela Black, Citizens Information Board chief executive, added: "This is a welcome strengthening of the link between the clients of MABS and their bank or other loan provider.
"MABS clients in deep mortgage arrears who are making every effort to engage with their lender should be given a fighting chance.
"This agreement should ensure fairness in how the banks or loan servicers deal with customers, restoring hope for citizens in trouble."