CORK MABS opened its doors in 1992 as the first Money Advice Service (MABS)
in Ireland, this was the brainchild of a Corkonion Mr. Brendan Roche who
saw first hand the misery that moneylending was causing in the community.
MABS aim was to provide independent, confidential and free information,
advice and practical support on money matters to people predominately in
receipt of social welfare who were in debt.
The key problem at that time was “Moneylenders” with high interest
repayments which resulted in little if any money remaining for essential
living costs for the borrower and their family.The need for the service
continues to grow with almost 1500 people accessing CORK MABS service
during 2012. However the profile of the caller has changed with well over
50% of callers now being mortgage holders and indicators for 2013 show this
trend is continuing. Due to the downturn in the economy in recent years
many people for the first time in their lives are unemployed and in
receipt of some form of social welfare payment including Job Seekers
Allowance and One Parent Family Income and are struggling to meet their
daily living costs including heat, light, food as well as their housing
costs. Money Advisors report that clients are presenting in a very
distressed state, physically and mentally ill worried about their housing
and what the future holds for them and their families.
Money Advisors meet with clients on a one to one basis to gather all the
information on their income, outgoings and commitments including their
debts. Once that is established they work with the individual to
prepare a sustainable Personalised Budget Plan focusing on essential
household living expenses, highlighting where potential savings can be made
with any surplus income to be put towards their debts. Unfortunately in
many cases For MABS clients the issue is “Can’t Pay” rather than “Won’t
Pay” which is a great source of stress for the client.
When such is the case, Money Advisors support the client in making contact
with their creditors providing a detailed breakdown of income, living costs
and commitments to demonstrate what a client can afford. Creditors
acknowledge MABS input as the “honest broker” and in the majority of cases
are willing to accept the offers put forward. This helps to reduce the
stress level for clients and attached are profiles of some of CORK MABS
clients and the comments received from them when they have completed the
Money Advice Process.
If you need MABS help you can contact CORK MABS at Tel: 0761 07 2090
or MABS National Helpline at tel: 0761 07 2000