By Dr Finbar Markey
It is a commonly held assumption that many if not most people that have fallen into arrears or face potential eviction are young to middle aged home-owners. There is rarely anything said of the many elderly parents/grandparents who are currently shouldering the burden of the threat of eviction, another category silenced it would seem by the foolhardy shame of debt.
During the so called “boom” many parents who had completely paid for their home over 25 or 30 years were targeted by the banks for special treatment. Eyeing up their paid for homes, the banks came up with the notion of “equity release” whereby working and middle class parents would use their home in one way or another to give their children a lift in an economy intent on excessive housing costs. Their children would then pay excessively for that “lift” over the coming years.
In an effort to help their children up the ladder of life and to maybe see the fruits of a lifetime’s labour pass to their children in their lifetime, they signed over their homes either through personal guarantees, the transfer of the home to the adult child or other similar such schemes in which the parents remained in the home. The end result is that many of the adult children cannot pay the mortgage and their elderly parents face into an old age of uncertainty and fear, family relations often damaged.
A number of such cases have been brought to the National Land League local branches of late. Volunteers have reported back that in most instances the parents, through contract and/or will, were guaranteed a right to remain in the home until death. Now these people and their children are being advised by banks, and indeed cheekily their own solicitors who made the contracts, that such clauses have no standing.
We believe this is an attempt to smooth over what could be a rough terrain for banks as they seek possession of such homes. We are advising all senior citizens in a position as just described not to hand over the keys to your home, a lifetime’s work. You have a right to defend your home in court if necessary and to argue the clause that you relied on amongst other defences. Be aware that the banks and solicitors will, with crystal ball in hand, tell you what a Judge will decide, but in the real world the outcome will be known only on the day. Contact the National Land League in your area for advice and supports.
Source : http://nationallandleague.org/8-home-category/34-senior-citizens-face-eviction-stolen-inheritance