Sunday 25 September 2016

Driving instructor who owes over €170k in mortgage arrears and €40k in credit card debts loses home

Ray Managh

Published 07/07/2016 | 13:40

Gwen Finlay, of Cherrywood, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday following a Circuit Civil Court hearing.Pic: Collins Courts
Gwen Finlay, of Cherrywood, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday following a Circuit Civil Court hearing.Pic: Collins Courts
Gwen Finlay, of Cherrywood, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts following a Circuit Civil Court hearing.Pic: Collins Courts

A driving instructor, who owes more than €170,000 arrears on her mortgage and over €40,000 in credit card debts, today lost her home when a bank was granted a possession order against it.

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Barrister Stephen Byrne told the Circuit Civil Court that Gwen Finlay, of Cherrywood, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin, now owed KBC Bank Ireland a total of €606,000 which included mortgage repayment arrears of €171,000.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane, who ordered that the bank be allowed to re-possess the house by mid-October, said Ms Finlay also owed credit card debts of €30,000 and €12,000 on which no payments were being made.

Mr Byrne, who appeared with Beauchamps Solicitors for KBC, had told the court Ms Finlay had been repaying the bank €5 a week, which she had recently upped to €20 a week, when monthly repayments on her debt should be €2,665.

Judge Linnane heard that Finlay had taken out loans totalling more than €566,000 over several years from 2001 with her home at Cherrywood as security.

The judge said Ms Finlay had been paying €20 a month until recently when she increased the monthly repayment to €100, more than €2,500 short of the necessary monthly repayment.

Gwen Finlay, of Cherrywood, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts following a Circuit Civil Court hearing.Pic: Collins Courts
Gwen Finlay, of Cherrywood, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin pictured leaving the Four Courts following a Circuit Civil Court hearing.Pic: Collins Courts

“It is not in dispute that there is default in respect of repayments,” Judge Linnane said.  “Ms Finlay in recent times increased her monthly payments to €100 and because of this she contends she has entered into a new binding arrangement with the bank.”

Judge Linnane told Finlay that was not the case and the bank had comprehensively dealt with points she had raised in five sworn affidavits before the court.

The judge said that a Standard Financial Statement Ms Finlay had furnished to the bank last September detailed arrears of €143,000 existing on the mortgage at that time. 

“She has credit card debt of €30,000 and €12,000 in respect of which no payments are being made. She does not have a permanent job and her income is €1,132 a month,” Judge Linnane said.

Judge Linnane said there were also two judgment mortgages registered against her interest in No 34 Cherrywood.

She said the loan was clearly in significant arrears and mounting with no prospect of any arrangements being entered into now. 

“This is just a situation that is deteriorating day by day and I am making an order for possession of the property in question with a stay of three months on execution of the order,” Judge Linnane said.

Dismissing a plea for an extended stay by Finlay, who represented herself in the case, Judge Linnane said the court proceedings had been in being for 18 months and had not just come out of the blue on her. 

It was up to the bank if it wanted to give her more time.

Mr Byrne said it had been the bank’s intention to suggest a stay of only a month or two at the most.

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