Couple describe 'years of torture' over house debt after winning 53pc write-down in court
A Limerick man who is celebrating holding on to his home after securing a 53pc mortgage write-down required morphine doses to deal with severe migraines brought on by the stresses of dealing with his mortgage debt.
Earlier this year, the man in his late 40s was also admitted to hospital as a result of chest pains his wife believes were brought about by the prospect of the couple losing their home.
Last week at the Personal Insolvency court in Ennis, Co Clare, Judge Michael Meaghan approved a deal which allows the couple to remain in their home and writes down their mortgage debt by 53pc with Shoreline Residential Ltd.
The write-down deal - brokered by Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) Maurice Lenihan - wrote down the couple's mortgage debt by €98,250 from €186,000 to €87,750.
The two plunged into mortgage debt five years ago after the man, who worked as a taxi-driver, suffered a stroke and his wife resigned from her post to become the husband's full-time carer.
In an interview yesterday, the man said that "the last five years have been torture".
Shoreline had a two-week period in which to appeal the arrangement and the woman said: "It was the worst two weeks. We waited and waited. We didn't sleep, we couldn't eat and every night when we were going to bed, I was saying 'I wish it was morning'."
The woman said: "Nobody knew what we were suffering, we kept up a brave face. My parents still don't know what has been going on - only one brother and his wife and one sister knew - they were the only ones who we told."
Her husband said: "We didn't really go outside the door. We lived in a prison, you could say, but we had to keep our spirits up for our family's sake.
"We don't drink or smoke...everything, every bit of money we had we were giving the €550 for the mortgage."
The man said that the personal insolvency system "does provide hope for people in our position".