‘We are ready to hand back the keys to our home’

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A Longford couple who owe over €180,000 in mortgage arrears and repayments despite securing a €170,000 mortgage in 2006, have said they are ready to hand back the keys to their bank.

A Longford couple who owe over €180,000 in mortgage arrears and repayments despite securing a €170,000 mortgage in 2006, have said they are ready to hand back the keys to their bank.

The couple, who reside in Edgeworthstown, spoke to the Leader after their case came before a recent County Registrar’s Court in Longford.

During that sitting, it emerged the bank, KBC, were looking to repossess the home as the couple had fallen behind with their mortgage repayments.

County Registrar Imelda Brannigan, however, opted to adjourn the case until June 3 to allow them to “consider” their situation.

“I’d like you to look at your options first and take whatever advice you can get,” she said.

“Something might turn up for you.”

Speaking to the Longford Leader outside court, the couple , who asked to remain anonymous, said they had all but given up hope of remaining in their home.

After purchasing their three-bedroom semi-detached house in 2006 for €185,000, they took out a €170,000 mortgage.

All was well until one of the joint mortgage holders had their hours reduced before work eventually dried up a few years ago.

“We sat with mortgage finance (from the bank) and they came up with agreement to pay €772 a month instead of €1,068, which we were paying,” he said.

“But after a while, the job went completely and they refused to come back to us.

“During that time I was unable to keep to the €772 a month. They just said to us continue paying whatever we can pay until things come back to normal.”

However, attempts to try and reach some sort of compromise with the bank fell on deaf ears, he claimed.

“We haven’t seen them but when we have tried calling; they just don’t want to engage with us.

“Every month they keep increasing the interest so that now we owe €181,000 and we have 11 years to pay that back. The mortgage was supposed to last 21 years.

“The house, we paid €185,000, but we think it’s probably worth about €40,000 now. It makes no sense.”

With four young children, the couple say they are facing up to the very real prospect of being left homeless by Christmas.

“For me, I am done,” added the homeowner. “I heard what the Judge had to say but I am done.

“I am ready to give them the house.”