Irish News

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Bank accused of 'abuse' over deal with sick mother

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Published 29/05/2014|02:30

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Accusations: Ulster Bank
Accusations: Ulster Bank

A LEADING bank has been accused of "abusing" a terminally ill woman who is in arrears into accepting a deal to leave her home.

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It has been claimed Ulster Bank has repeatedly sought confirmation from a medical consultant that the woman is dying, even though it is claimed all documentation has been supplied to it a number of times.

But the bank has taken the unusual step of refuting the allegations. Banks do not normally comment on individual cases.

Bankruptcy expert and accountant Paul Carroll of Neo Financial in Dublin claimed Ulster Bank was trying to force the mother of two teenage daughters into accepting a deal that was unreasonable.

The woman, who lives in Munster with her husband, has cancer and is receiving chemotherapy treatment, according to her husband, who spoke to the Irish Independent on condition of anonymity.

The family borrowed €700,000 to buy a large family home during the boom, but is now unable to meet the repayments.

The family has offered to sell the house and give the proceeds to Ulster Bank, Mr Carroll said.

He claimed the family was prepared to do a deal on the remaining balance owed, expected to be about €300,000.

The father is self-employed but has seen his income collapse and has huge medical bills to pay, as the family is unable to afford medical insurance.

Mr Carroll said: "I am outraged at the abuse of our clients, and Ulster Bank should be made take responsibility for pushing this family over the edge.

"It is a national disgrace that our society lets banks like Ulster Bank treat people in such a way."

And he said he stood over all his claims, despite Ulster Bank questioning his allegations.

Ulster Bank denied the claims being made by the Munster man and by his representative, Mr Carroll, in a press statement.

"There is a complete misrepresentation of the facts by Neo in their press release," Ulster Bank said.

"While we cannot comment on the individual customer without their expressed permission, in cases such as this, the objective of the bank is to help families in distressing circumstances stay in their home."

The bank's spokeswoman said that it had an agreed appointment with the customer to talk the family through the options and "support them as compassionately as possible in their time of difficulty".

Irish Independent

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