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More lose homes as banks pile on agony

House evictions have soared in the past four months due to increased pressure from the banks on debt-burdened families.

There were 23 evictions up until May of this year -- but since then the number has jumped to 91 evictions between May and this month.

Families in Rathfarnham, Templeogue and Dun Laoghaire have been evicted from their homes due to unmanageable debts.

County sheriff John Fitzpatrick says the majority of banks carrying out court orders of repossessions are subprime lenders, but mainstream banks are also enforcing evictions.

"The number of evictions to date this year have been 114 and I've more waiting to go out. I had 23 up to May but then I had 91 between May and now.







BAILIFFS

"They have been from a mix of local authorities and banks. The majority would be subprime and then other banks as well."

Mr Fitzpatrick said many homes had been emptied by the time bailiffs come knocking, because families had long given up on mortgage payments.

David Hall, from the New Beginnings group, which provides barristers on a no-fee basis to struggling home owners facing home repossessions, said they were now receiving calls from between 60 and 70 individuals every day.

He said the pro-bono group was fighting bank repossessions "tooth and nail", and a landmark High Court judgment in July would lead to a reduction in the number of repossessions.



pubs

Last July 25 the High Court ruled that a lending institution cannot apply for an order for possession where a mortgage was created before December 1, 2009 but a demand for full payment was not made until after that.

"We have 55 barristers working with us and four administrative staff," said Mr Hall.

"This is a disaster from an emotional perspective. It's very difficult when you've males and females, parents and grandparents, and relationship break-ups involved as well."

Meanwhile, Mr Fitzpatrick said once-successful pubs in south Dublin were now struggling to pay VAT and PRSI and bailiffs had had to repossess luxury boats and cars.

"There are a lot of pubs in South Co Dublin that used to be fabulous pubs and they've now gone to nothing," he said.

hnews@herald.ie