#Limerick families crippled by debt

first_imgPrint WITH more than 300 repossession cases listed before #Limerick circuit court so far this year, the frightening impact of financial stress on the mental well being of families has been revealed in a new survey conducted by the Irish Mortgage Holders Association.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The survey concludes that that there is a sharp increase in risks of depression, alcohol abuse and suicidal ideation among families dealing with crippling debt or those who are in fear of losing their home through repossession.At the start of 2016, upwards of 200 repossession cases were before the courts and with another 140 cases set to be listed at the next sitting of the Limerick’s Repossession Court, the IMHO survey revealed that five of its clients have taken their own lives in just four years.According to the non-profit group who offer independent debt resolution between lenders and distressed mortgage holders, there is a “hidden crisis” surrounding the level of mortgage arrears and the psychological impact it is having on ordinary families.With an estimated 150,000 homeowners in arrears, and upwards of 1,000 of those in Limerick city and county, the IMHO describes the situation as “widespread”.The report’s findings revealed evidence of how some families and individuals were dealing with a “ticking time bomb” in regard to their financial distress.500 men and women, with debt ranging from less than €250,000 (55 per cent) to more than €1million (8 per cent), participated in the study designed by Harvard University which questioned levels of nervousness, tiredness, hopelessness, restlessness and depression over a four week period.40 per cent of participants answered the majority of questions, if not all, with responses of “all of the time” or “most of the time”.More than 30 per cent indicated that they had had suicidal thoughts within the four week period and 22 per cent admitted that they had “active plans” with regards to those suicidal thoughts.Regarding alcohol and substance abuse, almost half of the respondents indicated harmful levels of alcohol use. with almost as many admitting that they felt guilty over the level of alcohol consumed.IMHO chief executive David Hall said the survey showed what those at the frontline of the debt crisis were seeing and the reality facing almost all of those who responded to the survey.Distressed mortgage holders range from those with buy-to-let and family home mortgages.“We’ve people from all walks of life but debt just paralyses everyone. No matter how dominant or strong or confident people are in their normal walks of life, debt cripples them,” Mr Hall said.“Debt renders them powerless and puts them under immense psychological pressure.”The IMHO say that the crisis is hindered by a lack of rapid access to help and relevant services to resolve the cause of stress, depression and suicidal feelings among those in financial difficulty and in tun a “one-stop shop” should be set up to provide access to all the relevant services including financial, legal and psychological supports.The results should act as a “wake-up call to a Government that has largely ignored this issue and made no attempt to provide proper resources to those affected,” said Mr Hall.Furthermore, the survey revealed that a very significant number of respondents specifically referred to their fear of being made homeless.“As we face into a government formation, all parties need to show leadership in ensuring that the reforms required to deal with legacy unsustainable debt are coupled with a comprehensive strategy to make sure that citizens are not unnecessarily, scarred for life by the experience,”According to latest figures from the Central Bank,12 per cent of mortgage holders are behind in their payments and nationally, 36,351 owner-occupier mortgages are in arrears of two or more years. Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Linkedin Advertisement Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” center_img News#Limerick families crippled by debtBy Staff Reporter – March 31, 2016 769 Email TAGSdebtfeaturedfinancial distressIMHOlimerickrepossession Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Previous article#Limerick dog owners must have their pets microchipped by lawNext article#recommended Willis Earl Beal plays Kasbah Social Club Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clashlast_img

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