A single parent of two sons, Claire* will be 57 on her next birthday. She fell into mortgage arrears after the collapse of her marriage a decade ago.
Claire and one of her children suffer from chronic medical conditions. She now owes the bank €400,000 in total.
“It’s like an anvil hanging over my head, just waiting for it to drop constantly,” she says. “It’s very difficult to sleep at night. It crowds your brain . . . I wonder what this constant state of fight or flight is doing to my health.”
Claire is one of more than 22,000 people aged 50 and over, who have fallen behind on mortgage payments. Data from the Central Bank, released to Labour Party finance spokeswoman Joan Burton, shows for the first time the number of people approaching, or already at retirement age, who are failing to deal with significant mortgage debt.
The data do not show how many of these accounts are secured on family homes, versus debt owed on investment property. For a buy-to-let investment, things may be simpler – to a point.
Large chunk of debt
Selling can clear a large chunk of debt, although…