A DINGLE solicitor was among the legal team representing a Dublin woman that was able to get Bank of Ireland to write off €152,000 of mortgage debt.
Ruth Fanning, a native of Dingle who many will know as the daughter of the late Dr Mícheál Fanning, is a solicitor with Mullan & Associates, the firm that represented Laura White (35) in court.
Ruth is one of a team of lawyers working with New Beginning, a group of business people, lawyers and concerned citizens who have come together in an attempt to deal with pressing social, economic, legal and political issues facing Ireland today.
The case made headlines last week as the Bank of Ireland agreed to write off most of the debt that remained after the sale of the apartment.
Ms White took out a mortgage of €245,000 from Bank of Ireland subsidiary ICS to buy her home in Coolock in 2005. She got into financial difficulties in 2009 and ended up in arrears.
Bank of Ireland took legal action against her in 2010 and she offered to hand back the home. The bank sold the house, but a balance of €170,000 in mortgage debt still remained.
The settlement means the nurse now has to pay back just €18,000 over six years, but it is understood that no interest will be applied.
Speaking to The Kerryman about the settlement, Ms Fanning said the case shows great hope for thousands of home-owners who are struggling to pay back unsustainable mortgages.
"While this is a fortunate outcome for Ms White it was deeply unfortunate that a mainstream bank which is part-owned by the State should have dragged her through the courts in the first place," she said.
Ms Fanning said New Beginning receives around 70 calls per day from people in a similar situation.
"Hopefully, this settlement will serve as a reality check to banks," she added.
Meanwhiile, David Hall, the co-founder of New Beginning, will travel to Dún Chaoin in West Kerry this Monday where he will take part in a political symposium organised by Dingle Peninsula arts festival, Féile na Bealtaine. The symposium will be hosted in Ionad an Bhlascaoid on Monday, May 7, at 10am in the morning. Other panellists include Elaine Byrne of Trinity College Dublin, Joe Higgins TD and Harry Mcgee of The Irish Times. The event is free of charge.