Home loan debt grew from €57,000 in 1998 to €371,2000 with sub-prime lender

High Court told IFA interceded with Home Funding Corporation on behalf of borrower


A home loan given by subprime lender Home Funding Corporation grew from a debt of just over €57,000 (IR£45,000) in 1998 to €371,200, the High Court heard yesterday.

The loan was taken out on a home and farm in Co Wexford. The borrower fell behind with repayments in 2001 and there were various arrangements put in place, counsel for the lender told the court, but they fell through. The case was adjourned generally in 2007, but since then “nothing had happened”.

The last repayment on the loan was in July 2006, he said. He did not disclose the interest rate charged by Home Funding Corporation.

Counsel said there had been little contact from the borrower since 2006, though the Irish Farmers’ Association had interceded on his behalf at one stage. He also said the property was not a family home at the time the loan was applied for, but he could not say whether it had since become one.

The borrower was not present in court and was not represented.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern said the case seemed “fairly hopeless”. He granted an order for possession of the property with a three-month stay.

However, in a separate case, the judge refused to grant an order for possession to Stepstone Mortgage Funding after he heard the couple were paying €225 a week towards their mortgage.

The couple, who had five children, told the judge they had supplied a statement of means to the lender and had never missed a payment since they had begun paying the lower rate of €225 a week, which worked out as €975 a month over the year. They sought an adjournment until next March to help them deal with the case.

Counsel for the lender opposed the adjournment and said the couple should have been paying instalments of €1,042 a month.

The judge adjourned the case to the end of February next year on the basis the couple continued to pay the €225 a week. If payments were missed, the lender could make an application to return the case to court sooner.

In a separate case taken by ACC Bank, the judge agreed to give the lender permission to execute an order for possession granted in March 2002.

The court was told the couple involved had split up and the husband had remained in the family home.

At the time the order was granted, he owed €46,000, but now owed €110,000.

The lender had not acted to possess the property because they did not want to put the man, now 70 years old, out of his home, said counsel for the lender .

Counsel for the man argued if ACC had possessed the property at the time, he would have been better off.