Couple are 'over the moon' after mortgage writedown
A couple who received letters from their lender on three successive Christmas Eves, telling them that they had to leave their property, are to hold on to their home after securing a mortgage writedown of 53pc.
At the personal insolvency court in Ennis, Judge Michael Meaghan approved the write-down for the Limerick couple of €98,250 on their €186,000 mortgage with Shoreline Residential Ltd.
The judge said the factors involved in the case were "a perfect storm" for the couple concerned. The husband was a taxi-driver, while his wife also worked. However, the two - who were not in court - plunged into mortgage debt after the man suffered a stroke and his wife had to give up work to become his full-time carer.
Judge Meaghan said that Shoreline "has been fair and realistic in dealing with what looked at the outset to be an intractable situation".
Shoreline bought the loan from IBRC and employed a third-party servicer called Pepper to manage them.
Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) Maurice Lenihan told Judge Meghan the couple had been through a most horrific time over the last five years.
"I met the husband last Friday and the couple have spent the last two weeks in absolute abject fear that there would be an appeal against the proposed arrangement. So they were very much on tenterhooks," he said.
He asked the judge if he could "get the court order today and email it to the couple because they said they are going to frame it".
Mr Lenihan told the judge that the case "is the one I am most proud of".
Judge Meaghan said the mortgage was for €186,000 and Mr Lenihan had put a value of €65,000 on the home - €10,000 more than the debtors' valuation and €10,000 less than the value Shoreline placed on the 100-year-old property.
Speaking after court, Mr Lenihan said: "The couple told me that three Christmas Eves in a row they received letters from their lenders telling them that their mortgage was unsustainable and they had to get out."
Mr Lenihan, of Moore Stephens Debt Solutions, added: "To say that the couple are now over the moon is an understatement. It is a massive relief. This is life-changing for them."
The couple - both in their late 40s and with no children - are to pay off the base mortgage of €74,000, with the couple 'warehousing' the remaining €13,750, which will be parked, with no interest accruing.