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Father battling cancer in danger of losing his home over €32,000 debt

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Permanent TSB - up 9.5pc

Permanent TSB - up 9.5pc

Permanent TSB - up 9.5pc

A father-of-two fighting cancer could lose his home over a mortgage debt of €32,000.

Ger Lonergan was one of 219 repossessions cases listed before the County Registrar Pat Wallace at Limerick Court house yesterday.

In 1995, the 51-year-old took out a mortgage of IR£33,000 on the home he was born in to pay off tax arrears.

The father-of-two continued to make repayments on the loan until he got sick in 2007.

At that time the loan had been reduced to €3,500.

However, he was unable to continue with repayments when illness forced him to give up his job as a plasterer.

Last October he was diagnosed with cancer and is due to begin chemotherapy treatment in the coming weeks.

Permanent TSB has requested a possession order on Mr Lonergan's home, where he lives with his wife Noreen and their two daughters, as outstanding debts have now reached €32,000 due to interest and penalties.

"It's stressful to be honest. My working days are over. It took me four years to get disability payment, which is €78 a week," he said.

"They [Permanent TSB] are looking for possession of my house. Four of us live there," he said.

"I have offered to pay them 10pc of what they are looking for, but I have had no correspondence with them. I've submitted all the medical evidence."

Mr Lonergan broke down as he described his stressful situation.

His case - along with at least two dozen others - was adjourned by the County Registrar until May 8 to give him more time to fill out another financial statement.

Granted

Only two possession orders were granted, while the majority of cases were adjourned for lengthier periods to allow the borrowers to engage with the banks.

The registrar also granted a number of sub service orders, which means the banks are allowed to pin the notice of repossession proceedings on the front door of the property rather than send out letters.

Limerick solicitor Gerard O'Neill, who represented many of the borrowers, said he had many clients who couldn't face coming into court because of stress.

"That's not a good sign, but that's the reality of it. One lady has had a nervous breakdown, receiving phone calls at home from the bank," he added.

"The problem is there is a number of departments, you can never make out who is going to make the next call or send the next letter."

Fianna Fáil TDs Niall Collins and Willie O'Dea were in court to lend their support to their constituents.

Irish Independent