Tuesday 12 December 2017

Couple in €144k mortgage arrears will pay €10k to save city home from repossession

Bernadette and John Lyons pictured leaving the Four Courts
Bernadette and John Lyons pictured leaving the Four Courts

A couple with an investment pot in the US worth more than €144,000, plus a rental holiday home in Wexford, have been given another chance of saving their €550,000 Dublin residence from being repossessed by a bank.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard in the Circuit Civil Court that John and Bernadette Lyons had been forced to rent out a room in their home in Clonard Lawn, Sandyford, Dublin 18, for €1,500-a-month to help meet their €3,500-a-month mortgage repayments.

Joynt & Crawford, solicitors for AIB Mortgage Bank, told the court the couple were not keeping up the repayments and currently owed more than €144,000 in arrears alone.

Their overall debt to the bank stood at more than €440,000.

Burden

The bank's solicitor said the couple had been saving money from the €1,500-a-month rent and it was because of this that they were in a position to tell the court they would pay off a lump sum of €10,000 within the next fortnight.

Mr and Mrs Lyons, who represented themselves in court, said that in January they would be in a position to pay off all of the arrears from the US fund.

Mr Lyons said he was working in London and, by January 2018, would fulfil a three-year residential requirement there that would allow him to draw down his US fund without having to pay a 50pc tax burden to Irish Revenue.

He said he was prepared to pay off all of the arrears in January and, in the meantime, he and his wife would make a €10,000 lump sum payment as a gesture of good faith.

Judge Linnane said the mortgage originated from 2006, when the couple drew down a loan for €465,000. Two years later, they had restructured it into two separate loans.

Their difficulties stretched back to 2008, so their problems had not just come out of the blue.

The judge said it was obvious the Lyons had been engaging with the bank and had made some repayments, unlike many others, who came to court not having paid a penny off their mortgage for years.

When the couple told the judge their house was worth about €550,000, the bank's solicitor said their outstanding debt totalled €443,138.

She adjourned the bank's application to repossess the Sandyford property until mid-February.

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