THE complexity of decisions having to be made by judges was well illustrated in Drogheda District Court when a man in dispute with Permanent TSB over a credit card debt sat in the witness box.
The man said he was not disputing that he owed €6,034 on the card, and revealed that he wanted the case brought before the court.
The card provider was seeking a judgment to have the amount repaid.
"I asked Permanent TSB to take me to court because I want the interest rates to drop," he said.
He had run up the debt after he had an accident and was no longer able work. He was no longer using the credit card.
Interest of more than €1,000 had accumulated on the card since he stopped using it.
"I was in an accident and have no income. When I explained that I can't pay at this time, I was told by the bank they have no facility to deal with the interest rate. They said I will have to go to court."
A representative of the bank told the court the interest on the card was between 9pc and 10pc. The bank insisted it was always in a position to talk to its customers about outstanding debts.
The man explained to Judge William Hamill that, as far as he was concerned, he was finished with the credit card and no more interest should have been imposed on the bill he owed.
The judge told the man there was little he could do but grant the judgment to the bank.
He said credit cards were an expensive way to borrow money and warned the man that if he did not pay the judgment, an instalment order, requiring the outstanding amount to be repaid weekly, may have to be put in place. But he also told the credit card company to put the man in contact with someone who would explain how the interest was applied.