Saturday 24 September 2016

Couple got bank letters over arrears of one cent

Jonathan Gray

Published 15/04/2016 | 02:30

Solicitor Ger O'Neill. Photo: Press 22
Solicitor Ger O'Neill. Photo: Press 22

Permanent TSB sent two letters to a couple asking for the sum of one cent - which was outstanding on their mortgage - to be paid "today".

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The bank wrote to the couple, who live in the Limerick area, to highlight the paltry amount, and said: "We trust you will make this payment today."

Bizarrely, the letter also added: "If you're worried about your mortgage repayments, talk to us."

The home owner who received the letter did not wish to be identified, but said it was "absolutely ridiculous".

"When I opened the letter, I couldn't believe my eyes. I had to show it to my husband and ask him, 'Does that actually say one cent?'

"We were laughing because they would hardly accept one cent at the counter if you went in or if you tried to pay it over the phone.

"We got a second letter then - two letters looking for one cent in the space of a week. I mean, the cost of one stamp is 70 cent."

She says she cannot understand what the anomaly is - as the money is taken by direct debit.

"I haven't done anything about paying it yet. I don't know how I'm going to pay one cent unless I get time off work to actually go down and pay it.

"I don't think they would take it off a card as it is too small.

"I showed it to my work colleagues, they said this is unbelievable and should be highlighted," she said.

Limerick solicitor Ger O'Neill represents a number of clients facing home repossessions and has been a vocal critic of some of the banks' tactics.

"This just demonstrates the uncaring attitude of banks to their customers. This is so stupid. It shows the red tape that goes on.

"They are not dealing with people, they are dealing with accounts and they have got to start dealing with people," added Mr O'Neill.

Permanent TSB did not respond to a media query on the matter.

Irish Independent

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