Debt strain made husband wish for ‘hole in ground’

“If there was a hole I could have jumped into and covered it over and gone to sleep and never woke up, both my wife and I would have taken that option.”

That’s how a Clare husband and father describes the strain of mortgage debt on his family.

The man was speaking outside a packed basement Court No 3 at Ennis courthouse where he had just received an adjournment in his case to May 15.

Pepper Finance Corporation (Ireland) Ltd is pursuing him and his wife for a debt of €153,500 from the mortgage on their home, including arrears of €85,741.

The man said he and his wife haven’t taken this drastic option because “we have family and that is the only reason. Otherwise neither of us would be alive dealing with this — that is how bad it is”.

“My glass is always half full. That has been my view all of my life. But even I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel. We only got a stay of execution today.”

The man said the situation has also affected his children, who are in college.

He said having his medical card withdrawn despite suffering a lifelong medical condition has not helped.

In court, a solicitor for Pepper said the couple took out a €195,500 mortgage in February 2005. Monthly repayments are €1,298 and the last payment was €250 in April 2014.

Caoimhe Collins, solicitor representing the couple, told the court they are proposing to pay €700 per month.

However, Pepper’s solicitor said: “The mortgage is entirely unsustainable with those arrears.”

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