Wednesday, 2nd May 2012
There are so few genuine good news stories out there that you get taken aback when you do come across one. And particularly one that chimes so well with the extreme financial problems that many people are experiencing at the moment. This particular case came to light last Friday through a report on the front page of The Irish Times with the headline that read "BoI agrees 152,000 Euro mortgage write-down with Dublin nurse". Very soon pretty much every media outlet was running with the story. The person at the center of the news even went on Morning Ireland to talk about her experiences. The woman in question was 35 year old Laura White who in 2009 handed back a house to the Bank citing the fact that she no longer was financially able to keep up with the repayments. Unfortunately for Miss White when it came to the sale of the property she found herself in the situation whereby she still ended up owing the bank money for the house.
Unsurprisingly, like many, many, other people she found herself in a situation of negative equity. The property bubble had burst and she found herself facing a hefty bill. She thought the sale of the house would cover the debt. Her lawyers, who were all working on a pro bono basis for her, argued that the property should have been sold more quickly before the market fell more and that there was also a dispute over when the property was surrendered. Laura White said that she just wanted the house sold leaving her free to leave Dublin and relocate to the West. However it all didn't end there but Miss White maintained that she had made mistakes like many others a few years ago by wanting to buy property but now she wanted to repay the bank what she could afford. In the end after all the legal wranglings a compromise was reached with the bank whereby the agreed to write off 152,000 Euro of the shortfall falling the sale of the house and that Miss White would pay the bank 18,000 Euro over six years which would mean that she had to pay the bank 250 Euro a month, every month for that agreed period of time. Listening to Laura White speak on Morning Ireland it was clear the relief that she felt at the outcome that had been achieved. She did say that she prayed a lot to God and that helped but perhaps a more telling part of her story was the role that her lawyers played in the outcome. Barrister Marie Mullarkey who represented Miss White said both sides wanted to agree a repayment amount she could afford to pay and was motivated to pay. She went on to say "it is in everyone's interest to take a realistic view on what can be repaid." What makes all of this such a good news story is firstly that it has become public knowledge. There are plenty of people who are in the same position as Miss White was and it seems that there is very little hope out there for them. By coming forward with her experiences Miss White is showing people that such situations can be overcome and overcome in a positive light. Of course it is in no one's interest for houses to be handed back to banks but that is what is happening on a daily basis up and down the country. People bought at the height at the property boom and now find themselves in far different financial and personal circumstances. The fact that one, one very big thing, can be lifted from their shoulders is huge. However there is a note of caution, this has been Miss White's experiences and the same might not happen for other people. Again you have to look to the Government for real action on this particular problem. The settlement that Miss White has agreed to is similar to the new out of court personal insolvency arrangements proposed by Government whereby banks agree to write down debts to a level that a debtor can repay over six years. Yet this hasn't been enacted. What Miss White has achieved, with considerable hard work and long hours by her legal team, is a good news story. When more get to share that it will be an even better news story.
Letters to the Editor
- A Government Successread more »
Once in a blue moon. As rare as hen's teeth. A Government success. Each of those three sentences are as unusual and as rare as each other. But the last one seems to be about to take place. The Government has announced that it plans to give each child in the State a second year of free pre-school. It might not sound like earth shattering news but if it does happen then it could be one of the most significant things that this Government has done since it took office. Any money that is given over to education is a …
We're delighted to announce the launch of the new-look Waterford Today website. Tell us what you think of the new site design?
Total votes: 44 Refresh results
- Local Asparagus
- Presbytere Granola
- Terrace Chicken
- Oven Steamed Brill with Torrades Sa...
- French Onion Tart
- Cod and Mussel Pie
- Warm Salad of Chicken with North Af...
- Honey and Walnut Tart
- Roast Loin of Lamb with Black Olive...
- Ireland to host Great Taste awards ...
- Calling All Waterford Small Food Pr...