Opinion: ‘A vulture fund took over my mortgage – have I failed my wife and kids?’

I AM ONE of these people. Got the letter in the post today. Just entered into a five-year fixed interest rate with my bank less than a month ago. €1100 per month.

I’ve missed a few payments since I took the mortgage eight years ago because my wages were cut severely since the public sector pay cuts and embargo on promotions. My wife works full-time and we have two kids.

When times got tough and we couldn’t afford the full repayments of €1400 p/m I constantly kept in touch with the bank , completed numerous standard financial statements and offered any solution affordable to keep our family home.

Inevitably we have racked up €10,000 arrears over the years which I planned fully to repay.

We continue to make full monthly repayments on the new interest rate. We never buried or heads in the sand or defaulted. We live in a humble house and have one 14-year-old family car. No other loans or debts.

Vulture fund

Now our mortgage has been sold to an American vulture fund. The bank claims that there is an average arrears of over €60,000 on the primary dwellings sold in the portfolio with tens of missed payments.

But these figures do not represent my mortgage account and I wonder how many others are in the same situation.

So what is the future of our family home now? I don’t know.

How will the vulture fund decide to manage my “non-performing” loan?

Crying ourselves to sleep

Before they repossess our home I’m pretty sure that they won’t take into consideration my children’s best friends living next door, or the fact that if mammy and daddy had to move to a different county to live with granny and grandad that they would have to say goodbye to their school across the street and all their friends who attend.

Maybe the big wigs in the company will cut me some slack if I tell them my wife and I have spent sleepless nights stressing over the future of our family home, often crying ourselves to sleep under a continuous black cloud of stress and anxiety.

I work hard, harder than most if I’m honest. Never took the easy option, always figured that eventually hard graft will pay off, honesty is the best policy, karma is on my side.

Now I’m starting to doubt my beliefs along with my ever-waning faith in the government of our fair country and their ability to stand up for the ordinary decent folk.

My home is not the twisted willow planted out the back, it’s not my wooden garden shed that I religiously paint each year and stand back admiringly at “another job done”.

It’s not the lady next door who drops in a pot of her homemade jam in return for watering her flowers when she goes on holidays.

It’s not my daughter’s bedroom with her fairy doll house and teddy box in the corner, it’s not my son’s bedroom with his proud collection of Horrid Henry books or his Lego builds tucked safely under his bed.

My house, our home is an asset, a series of numbers on a sheet, a “non-performing loan”, someone else’s pension fund after its repossessed and sold to the highest bidder.

Where does this leave me? Have I failed my wife and kids?

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