Bank told to repay legal fees to Limerick mother



PTSB has been told to repay the Limerick mother the legal fees that it charged for taking her to court

PERMANENT TSB Limerick has been ordered to return or credit €2,710 in legal fees it charged a young mother they took to court in a bid to repossess her home.

County Registrar Pat Wallace issued the instruction after he was given copies of the woman’s bank accounts detailing the charges that had been made.

“And all of this, while I had been paying my mortgage”, the young mother said.

In July, Mr Wallace heard the woman explained that in 2013 the bank instigated proceedings against her.

“I just want to tell the court that I have been paying my mortgage in full for the last two years but each time this case is brought before the court, the bank apply their legal fees to my arrears. I have been paying it all and then they throw this on top. I just can’t cope with it”, she said.

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The young mother explained that at the start of 2013, she had an illness and missed four mortgage repayments.

“The bank brought me to court but I got back on track and I haven’t missed a payment in more than two years and they still have me here and expect me to pay for their fees.”

She borrowed €146,000 to buy her home in 2008.

As of last July, she owed €147,000 and €13,000 in arrears.

Bank charges that were applied by PTSB included legal fees for the case they were taking against her.

They had sought an indefinite adjournment but Mr Wallace asked for a full review of the file.

Other account actions by the bank had also been questioned by the young mother prompting Mr Wallace to criticise lenders adding that he had a “serious issue with arbitrary in-house cost being loaded against a borrower’s loan.

“It is the court that determines and awards legal costs where applicable”, he said.

After reviewing the woman’s statements and documentation from the bank, Mr Wallace said “I have found that €2,710 has been charged to you by the bank in legal fees.

“Therefore, when these proceedings are resolved, I want that amount to be credited or returned to this woman,” he instructed the bank’s solicitor.

The case was adjourned until next January for review.

In another case, Mr Wallace gave a similar instruction again to PTSB over €2,319 they had taken from a Limerick father under similar circumstances.