Home of man who had stroke repossessed


A MAN who fell behind with his mortgage repayments after suffering a stroke had an order for possession made against him at the High Court yesterday.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said his case was “very unfortunate” and the man, in his early 30s, had dealt with his mortgage arrears “as honourably as possible” throughout.

He was one of 11 individuals and couples who had orders for possession made against them yesterday.

Counsel for the lender, Start Mortgages Ltd, told the court the man owed arrears of more than €55,000 on his home in Co Kilkenny.

He had taken out a loan of €238,500 in August 2007 to buy his home, but fell behind with the repayments after he suffered a stroke in August 2008. He had been promised that his job, as a sales representative, would be held open for him and he initially hoped to return to work in early 2009, but his health difficulties prevented it. He was relying on social welfare payments.

Correspondence filed with the court showed the Money Advice and Budgeting Service had tried to assist the man and that he had further treatment for an embolism on the brain in March 2009. The man had also returned the keys of his home to the lender in 2010 telling them his health had not improved and he had “no alternative”.

“I have taken my belongings from the house,” the man said.

Counsel for the lender said following legal advice, the man let out his home to a tenant and since then had been paying over the rent to the bank.

She said the borrower had “very unfortunately” suffered serious ill health although he was quite a young man.

“He has done his best to deal with the matter as honourably as possible,” she said. She granted the order for possession with a stay of execution of six months and gave the borrower liberty to apply for an extension.

The judge refused to grant an order for possession to Stepstone Mortgage Funding Ltd after a mother-of-five said she was waiting for advice from the Legal Aid Board.

The woman from Dublin owed almost €33,000 in arrears on her home mortgage and had fallen behind with repayments after her husband left her.

The woman told the court she had been granted €100 a week in maintenance, but she could not get in touch with her husband to get the money. She had applied to her local Legal Aid Board office and was told it would be eight months before she could have an appointment.

Ms Justice Dunne said the case didn’t seem to have “any prospect”. She said “it wouldn’t be sensible” to put it off for eight months for the board to assist her, but she suggested the woman might seek legal assistance somewhere else.