Thursday 27 October 2016

'I won't pay willy nilly amounts' - man who owes €60k mortgage arrears

Ray Managh

Published 06/10/2016 | 15:31

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

A MAN who owes a bank more than €60,000 arrears on his mortgage told a judge today he had not paid anything off his loan because he did not want “to engage in paying willy nilly” amounts.

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Gary Higgins said in the Circuit Civil Court that he could not dispute that he had not been making repayments and told Judge Jacqueline Linnane he was “not keeping the money in a pot to pay it off in a lump sum.”

Higgins, of 18 Kiltipper Close, Tallaght, Dublin, who represented himself, said he did not know exactly how much he owed EBS Limited in arrears on his mortgage and was seeking details.

He said he had been told in one case that he owed €39,000 in arrears and later the bank had claimed he owed them €66,000 in arrears.

The bank is seeking to re-possess Higgins’ home and had met him with his accountant to discuss the question of a new arrangement which had not been offered to him.

Judge Linnane said Mr Higgins had made no offer to make any payment for some time and it had now become a regular occurrence with litigants to look for discovery of documents as “a delaying tactic.”

She said she was finding that a lot of defendants were using as a delaying tactic a request for discovery of documents.

“The relevant documents have been provided in these proceedings,” Judge Linnane said.  “You got the money, you got it on certain terms, the bank obtained its security on the mortgage, you defaulted on payment, a final demand was not met and the bank is seeking possession of the property.”

The judge told Higgins the proceedings had not come out of the blue and a mortgage should be one’s priority.  Debtors should not bury their heads in the sand and try to engage with banks to deal with their situations.

Solicitor Mark Hession, for EBS Limited, said the bank would be taking issue with a number of allegations made by Mr Higgins.

Judge Linnane put the matter back until October 24 and said the bank would not be pursuing its possession demand on that date as it had to deal with a change of name of the bank in which it would be described as a Designated Activity Company.

She said that in the meantime the bank would provide Mr Higgins with all documents relating to its change of name proceedings.

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