A record 11 repossession orders for homes were yesterday granted at the repossession court in Ennis.
During four hours in court, Clare registrar Pat Wallace dealt with 171 applications for repossession from financial institutions and made the 11 repossession orders — more than double the previous high of five granted at the repossession court in Ennis.
There were eight gardaí in the courtroom and its environs to prevent a repeat of the chaotic scenes that occurred in Limerick last week where Mr Wallace was forced to abandon the repossession court there.
Outside Ennis courthouse, a Co Clare father-of-two who had just lost his family home yesterday after an 18-month battle in the repossession court hit out at what he called the ‘injustice’ of the Government neglecting to do anything about ordinary people’s bad bank loans.
The man contrasted the Government’s inaction on ordinary people’s troubles with the banks with Nama buying up the banks’ bad developer loans.
Earlier in court, Mr Wallace made the order for repossession, with a stay of 12 months, for the man’s family home after stating that the man’s debts were “insurmountable and no matter what you do, you are not going to get over it”.
The father who lost his home yesterday took out a mortgage of €425,000 in 2006 with KBC Bank and said he was able to make payments until 2012 when the increase in the variable interest rate saw his monthly payments rise from €1,480 to almost €3,000.
The man’s business collapsed and he was managing monthly repayments of sometimes €800.
He said: “The interest piled up and is around €125,000 now. I was able to reduce the amount owed on the principle to €45,000.
“I had a business that had to be closed and I was owed money from various people and if I had received that money, I wouldn’t be here today.”
The man said that he tried everything to hold onto the home and didn’t expect to lose it yesterday.
He said: “The repossession court has been a slow impact and I got a lot of time from Mr Wallace and I have a lot of good things to say about KBC.”
The man said: “There has been very little else on my mind in trying to solve this. I didn’t think of much else all week or the week before.”
The father was yesterday philosophical over the order made.
He said: “This is a situation I always knew would be my reality today. We are level-headed people. We are a happy family and we will find somewhere else to be happy.”
He said: “I have plenty of will and fight left in me and sometimes you just have to let go of one thing to get another.”
Seeing another man being led into the courthouse in handcuffs, the father noted: “I’m not coming in here in handcuffs. This is tough, but there are tougher things. We have got a chance.”
He said: “The bottom line is that I went into arrears and it was insurmountable.”
I will sleep tonight, says mother after court reprieve
A mother who earned a reprieve from a lender’s attempts to repossess her family home said yesterday: “I will sleep tonight.”
The mother of two teenage girls owes sub-prime lender Start Mortgages €405,000 on an original mortgage of €225,000. The lender applied yesterday for repossession at the repossession court in Ennis. However, the woman received a reprieve after County Registrar Patrick Wallace adjourned her case.
Speaking outside court, the mother said she can afford to pay the bank €200 per week out of her wage packet of €449 “and myself and my two daughters are trying to live on what is left over”. The woman said after paying out €50 for diesel each week, there is €190 left for food: “I don’t worry about losing my home. If it is going to happen, it is going to happen. I worry about my family and where we are going to live in 20 years.”
She said the bank wants €920 per month rather than the €800 she is paying: “Every month when I get that call from the mortgage company, I can tell them ‘I can give you a bit more and a bit more’. There is no money going to the cinema or family outings. We are happy, we spend time together. There is no money for holidays — that is not going to happen.”
The woman said her husband left her 10 years ago and doesn’t contribute to the mortgage. The value of the home is now €200,000, she said.“I want to stay. It is my family home. I am not walking away; I am not ignoring the letters; I am coming to court.”
But the threat of losing her home takes its toll: “Every time you come out of that court you get a bit of breathing space, but there is that shadow constantly looking over your shoulder.” She said she told her daughters about going to court: “I like to teach them responsibility.”
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