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.
This is one of the earliest interviews with Ben Gilroy before Constitution Halts Sheriff went viral on the internet. In this interview, which occurred on RTÉ’s Prime Time, Ben discusses the lack of action by the current government in dealing with the astronomical number of home owners who are currently in negative equity. These people see absolutely no tangible route out of this problem.
Ben covers the possibility of abandoning his current house and renting somewhere affordable. He also covers the suggestion of renting his own house out, or simple passing the keys over to the bank and allowing them to sell it. As Ben states in the video, this is simply kicking the can down the road. What are people in Ben Gilroy’s circumstances to do when they reach retirement age, and are no longer able to afford to rent a property?
This video is significant to People For Economic Justice as it gives a little insight into what caused Ben Gilroy to start questioning the legal system. His housing situation made him realise that there must be a better way to run a country and a banking system so that this sort of thing can’t happen. Constraints can surely also be put in place, so that this can be done without racking up massive amounts of odious debt. During his studies Ben came across information which he uses to halt Sheriffs and Receivers across the country keeping people in their homes.
In the coming months we will be showing more and more videos of Ben Gilroy and People For Economic Justice using nothing more than their rights as Irish Citizens, under the Irish Constitution. They will keep people in their homes, despite massive strain from banks and sheriff’s to get them out. They will keep legitimate small business owners on their premises, where they can continue their life’s work, and renegotiate their repayments with the banks. This is surely preferable to being forced out onto the street, watching their businesses be stripped down and sold to the highest bidder. The irony of this solution being, that the banks seem to prefer that it very rarely actually covers the debt.