If you are in financial trouble, don’t be an idiot

A part of me feels bad about not having any pity for some of the people who recently had their homes repossessed. Note: I said some not ‘all’, the reality is that I agree with repossessions for people who bury their head in the sand. In many cases the person had made no payment in three or four years and avoided any contact from the lender.

How do you negotiate with a person who won’t even come to the table? Or worse yet, who refuses to acknowledge there is an issue to come to the table for! The IBF recently decided to start working with MABS on a new protocol for people in financial difficulty, we fully support such a move, and for people in mortgage arrears, or indeed any financial arrears we even wrote a guide for you regarding repossession. The Regulator even brought out legal code ensuring protection for people in arrears (covered in our guide)…. but only if you will enter dialogue with the lender.

In other words, if you don’t bother to correspond with a lender then you waive your right to protection, and proper order, it can be summed up as follows: ‘if you are in financial trouble, don’t be an idiot, talk to the institution with whom the problem lies’, even if its only to tell them that you are broke and can’t pay you’ll receive some of the benefit of protection, but if you fail to do that then you’ll get tossed out in short order. As a follow on to that, if you are taken to court then show up, the majority of possession orders occur because the person being charged doesn’t actually show up in court.

Judge Elizabeth Dunne has repeatedly said that the court ends up ruling in favour of the bank when there is no information, appearance, or knowledge of the borrowers circumstance.

So the golden rule is ‘stay in touch’ if you find yourself in trouble financially, you can insure yourself against many of the things that are generally associated with financial loss (death, job loss, accident, unemployment, illness), but the cost of doing so isn’t always worth it, you can put money aside regularly and have a savings cushion to fall back on but nest eggs don’t last indefinitely so the trick is to strike a balance, and of course, if things do go wrong, don’t add ‘being an idiot’ to your list of woes.

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