Evicted couple told to try to sell home to man who made offer
John Lloyd (43), who is blind, and wife told they sought injunctions in error against Stepstone
Mr Justice Anthony Hunt told John Lloyd (43), who is blind, and his wife Fiona (44), they had mistakenly sought injunctions against Stepstone Mortgage Funding Ltd restraining the bank from taking further steps in the sale of their home in Kells, Co Meath. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
A couple has been told by a High Court judge that if they can rekindle the interest of a man who offered to buy their house from them, they should pass this information on to the bank that evicted them last week.
Mr Justice Anthony Hunt said while he had no power to issue orders against Stepstone Mortgage Funding Ltd or the agencies that conducted the eviction, he wanted to do all he could to put matters back on track.
The judge told John Lloyd (43), who is blind, and his wife Fiona (44) , they had mistakenly sought injunctions against Stepstone, restraining the bank from taking further steps in the sale of their home in Kells, Co Meath.
He said the bank had been engaged in extensive communication with the couple after having received an order for possession on foot of more than €240,000 arrears in April 2013.
Mr Justice Hunt told barrister Roland Rowan, who appeared with solicitors AC Forde for Stepstone, that the lender had obtained a number of dates to execute repossessions during the past two years but had not progressed them until last Wednesday.
He said that in the meantime, the Lloyds and the bank had engaged in extensive negotiations regarding the possible sale of their house.
The bank had reduced the debt to €60,000 and had agreed to a 50-50 split with the Lloyds of any money obtained in a sale value over that figure.
Ms Lloyd, who conducted her own and her husband’s litigation, told the court that a John Ryan, who was now living in the US, had offered €77,000 to purchase their home, but this had fallen through.
Mr Justice Hunt refused to grant the Lloyds any order but told them that if Mr Ryan could be persuaded to renew his €77,000 offer, with an equal split of the extra €17,000 between them and the bank, he would consider it.
He granted the Lloyds and the bank liberty to apply again to the court and said this liberty would expire in three weeks’ time.
“I would like to see people remain in their family home,” the judge said. “I am probably overstepping the mark here but if Mr Ryan continues to be prepared to go through with this, it is something everybody has got to consider.”
The Lloyds claimed they had been turfed out by a team of bailiffs and had been dragged from their home in their bare feet and pyjamas.
Ms Lloyd told the court on Tuesday that her body was black and blue as a result of being dragged from her home. She said her husband, who was medically retired from the Civil Service, had been put out of his home without his white cane.
No other accommodation
Ms Lloyd said she and her husband were now living with friends and currently had no other accommodation. She claimed her repayments on the €186,000 mortgage had spiralled from €423 to €939 a month. She told the judge this included interest on arrears.
When the judge asked her how it had appeared on social media that the eviction would be stopped at all costs, she said she was not responsible for what had been put up on social media by someone else.
She handed in a booklet of photographs of the eviction, including members of the Garda and security staff.
The judge said he would have to refuse the couple’s application for injunctions against the bank, whose Dublin headquarters are at Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay.
He told them they could issue whatever proceedings they wished against the agencies that carried out the physical repossession of the house, and advised that if the couple intended applying to the court within the next three weeks, they should bring with them Mr Ryan and his cheque for €77,000.