‘My house isn’t worth half its mortgage’ says father facing home repossession

A married father of two yesterday broke down in tears at a repossession court as he fought off attempts by Bank of Ireland to repossess his family home.

The Co Clare musician told county registrar Pat Wallace: “This house is important to me and I am determined to hold on to my house because I have nowhere else to live.”

The case arose at a repossession court in Ennis where 133 applications were before the court.

A solicitor for Bank of Ireland told Mr Wallace that the bank was seeking an order for repossession. She said that the man owes almost €260,000 on the mortgage, including just under €38,000 in arrears. She said the last payments were made in July and August of last year when payments of €900 and €500 were received.

Representing himself in court, the 50-year-old singer told Mr Wallace: “A lot of my arrears were accumulated back three-and-a-half years when I was out of work for two years as a result of a massive heart attack.”

The father of two girls said he was back in hospital since his last appearance in the repossession court, last July, with chest pains due to the stress from the mortgage debt. “As a result of me being back in hospital, I wasn’t able to make payments.”

After telling Mr Wallace the house was important to him, the man lost his composure and started to cry. A solicitor sitting nearby gave him a glass of water while the court garda walked to over to hand the man a tissue .

The man said: “I am self- employed and my work is seasonal and I have paid back €1,200, €1,500 or €2,000 some months when I was earning.”

He has sold musical equipment and the proceeds of that are available to the bank. “My house isn’t even worth half my mortgage and my big concern, because of my health, is that I don’t want to be coming back here. I really don’t want to be coming in here at all.”

Mr Wallace said it was in his interests to appear in court. He said: “I admire that you are committed to the process and that you are coming here.”

The registrar adjourned the matter to July to allow the man make more repayments to the bank. The musician declined to comment further outside court.

The vast majority of cases were adjourned but repossession orders were made in two cases. An order for repossession by the Home Funding Corporation Ltd for a 26-acre site from a farmer was struck out. Mr Wallace previously described as “immoral” and “outlandish” interest rates being charged by the financial institution on the east Clare farmer on an €8,000 debt that grew to €80,000 within nine years.

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