Ben Gilroy on The Morning Show

This is the original appearance of Ben Gilroy of People For Economic Justice in the national press. Ben was interviewed by The Morning Show on 15th November 2011. Watch the video attached for Ben Gilroy’s story.

Ben Gilroy’s Story

In the video Ben Gilroy details his experiences when attempting to renegotiate the debt, instead of facing the possibility of a Sheriff arriving on his doorstep to take away his family home. He was told in 2007 by his Mortgage Broker that while Start Mortgages were a little on the expensive side (€2800 a month), the broker would get him away from them and into another mortgage within six months. This never happened due to the infamous bank bailout. After a year or two of this, Ben found he was not even able to contact his Broker. After a further year, Ben simply ran out of money and was unable to continue to pay his interest only mortgage.

Over the course of the interview Ben makes it clear that he wants nothing from the state in terms of benefits etc, and simple wants to represent people in the same situation. He points that it took 8 hours to bail out these banks, and yet no one seems to be fighting to bail out the banks. He points out that he approached Start Mortgage if they would give him a smaller, more affordable loan, on a smaller house. They said no. He asked them, since their evaluator was the one that grossly overvalued the house, would they take half the hit on the negative equity. They said no.

All over the country there are families on ever road facing the same problems Ben Gilroy and the rest of People For Economic Justice. They are too proud or too ashamed to admit that they are in trouble, and most importantly, they don’t realise that in all likelihood, so are many other people in their neighbourhood.

The website mentioned in the video is no longer the name or homepage of this organization.


Report Offers Help To In Debt Homeowners

Hopes of a comprehensive plan to help thousands struggling to meet mortgage repayment debts will be dashed by a report to be discussed by the Cabinet today.

It will merely recommend a small level of debt forgiveness in extremely limited circumstances.

The report, which is headed by Department of Finance official Declan Keane and made up of representatives from a number of government departments, will not recommend any mass debt forgiveness scheme.

It will call for mortgage lenders to fund the recruitment of around 100 financial advisers to offer a debt support service to those at risk of losing their homes.

Another recommendation is that local authorities and charities should buy the homes of those in hopeless mortgage arrears. The properties would then be rented back to those forced to give up ownership of their houses.

The new group of financial advisers would work alongside the existing Money Advice and Budgeting Service.

But the report will suggest that there should be a new system, outside the courts, to allow those who are over-burdened with debts to have some of their bills written off.

This is expected to lead to a limited form of debt forgiveness where those who have their houses repossessed, or hand over the keys, are able to have the balance that they still owe formally written off.

This is already happening on an informal basis.


Families In Modern Ireland Skip Food To Pay The Mortgage

Families in modern Ireland are going without food to meet the demand of mortgage debt.

The arrival of the second wave of the economic crisis, giving rise for the first time in many decades to the spectre of hunger, has caused shock across the country.

The decision of homeowners to choose hunger over a fear of eviction helps expose as irrelevant the issue of “moral hazard”, the defence of policymakers who resist calls for debt forgiveness.

A nationwide Sunday Independent/Quantum Research poll has found massive support for the concept of debt forgiveness to help those who are genuinely unable to meet their full mortgage payments.

The poll found that 70 per cent supported the idea of debt forgiveness and, more tellingly, 73 per cent would not resent such relief for homeowners while they themselves continued to meet their commitments.

Yesterday the economist Morgan Kelly, who was among the first to warn of such a mortgage crisis, said that the purpose of debt forgiveness was not to eliminate negative equity but to deal with the risk of people defaulting on smaller mortgages and “losing their family homes”.

Professor Kelly told the Sunday Independent: “The State can save itself huge losses in fire sales of foreclosed properties and end the anguish of many ordinary families.”

The fear of losing their home is causing many anguished families to go without enough to eat in order to ensure that they have sufficient money to pay their mortgage.

The case highlighted last week of a family in Co Kerry which feels obliged to “cope with a new torment — hunger” to service a mortgage of €80,000 has caused widespread shock.