New Year brings in evictions


By Andrew Carey

FOURTEEN Limerick property owners were told they will have to leave their homes for failing to meet their mortgage repayments when banks and financial institutions made 115 applications for repossession at Limerick Circuit Court on the second day of the new year.

Ten of the properties to be vacated were described as family homes and some of the mortgage holders were told that the lenders will be taking possession of their homes immediately while others were given periods of up to nine months before eviction.

While expressing sympathy towards those in difficulty, County Registrar Pat Wallace granted the applications made by the lending institutions to have the homes repossessed for non-payment of mortgages or failure by the borrowers to engage with bank.

Addressing a father-of-two who pleaded not to have his family home repossessed by the bank, Mr Wallace said: “Things won’t go away if you bury your head in the sand. You have to engage with your bank and they have to be reasonable with you because it would be terrible to take a home off a family over just €32,000 – it’s not insurmountable”.

The man said he was unable to work because of bad health and his wife had recently had a reduction in her working hours. He was also supporting his college going daughters as best he could.

In another case, the court heard that a bank was seeking possession of a family home where a mother had fallen into arrears of more than €95,000. Her total outstanding balance was in excess of €385,000.

Mr Wallace granted an adjournment after the woman’s barrister Pat Barriscale, sought time to have her “financial situation professionally assessed. The last mortgage payment of just €50, was made in 2013 and Mr Barriscale said that the woman was left in a “dire and desperate situation recently”.

Stating that “everyone deserves a chance”, Mr Wallace adjourned the case to March to allow the mother of the young family get a “proper appraisal of her affairs”.

Up to a dozen cases were adjourned due to the borrowers not being properly notified of the court proceedings.

Mr Wallace granted “sub-service” orders in a number of cases where court documents could be pinned to the door of the property.

Three summons issued to people who failed to turn up for court or enter a defence to the proceedings.

In three other cases, the court was told that the former occupiers and borrowers were now living abroad having vacated the property. The banks were seeking to take control of the properties so as to avoid them falling derelict.

In one of these cases, Mr Wallace was told that the borrower owed over €475,000 to the bank and that the last payment was made in December 2011. The property was described as “being at risk, as the occupants had left the house over 12 months ago”.

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