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10th Apr 2014

Terminally Ill Kerry Woman Told Children Could Lose Home Due to €260 Arrears

The woman now fears that her children may lose their home.

A mother-of-two suffering from terminal cancer has been told that her mortgage will not be paid off when she dies, as a result of €260 in arrears on her insurance policy.

According to The Examiner, the woman fell behind on her €26 a month mortgage protection policy after losing her job last year. Prior to finding herself unemployed, she had paid into the policy for eight years but was recently told that the €110,000 mortgage would not be paid off on her death as she had defaulted on the agreement through her recent non-payment.

The policy is held with Ark Life, a subsidiary of AIB, and the issue only came to light when the woman, who is aged in her 40s, contacted the bank to settle any outstanding arrears and ensure that her children would still have a home following her death. The newspaper reports that a spokesperson for AIB said they could not comment on individual cases but added that they had worked out a debt solution with the woman about her outstanding mortgage debt.

However, Fine Gael’s MEP candidate Deirdre Clune has described the case as “deeply troubling” and questioned whether financial institutions have a duty of care in making their customers aware of such risks.

“What efforts do the banks go to in ensuring that customers are made aware of the risks of falling into arrears on their insurance policy? Are the banks not under a duty of care to ensure that customers have sufficient insurance policies in place to cover the value of the mortgages? These are questions that need to be answered by the banks and the Central Bank.”