While sat at my computer in our rented home enjoying the comfort of our Aga heated kitchen I was asked by my twelve year daughter if our family is lucky. It would have been wholly inaccurate to reply with anything but,“Yes”. However, I am in no doubt that when it comes to home repossession and our subsequent persecution at the hands of the too big to fail banking giant Lloyds/HBOS, there are a substantial number of individuals whose luck amounts to far in excess of mine.· Sir Tom Hunter, the Ayrshire entrepreneur, appears to have had millions written off by HBOS throughout 2008/9 at precisely the same time as I was being told letting my home to a tenant was no solution to an arrears problem of (eight months) amounting to £27,000.
· Sir David Murray is said to have lost only 78% of his 720 million when in 2009 the recession hit his business Murray Holdings but HBOS saw fit to forgive 759 million of his company’s unrecoverable debt. As luck would have it he was still worth an estimated 144 million because of this write off whereas I was forced to our assets at a vastly reduced price and have been left with a bill of £217,000.
·Remo Dipre had his share holding completely wiped out when the housing market took a nosedive in 2008/9 and left his company Gladedale with 78 million in losses. Lucky Dipre benefited from a Lloyds write off 533 million pounds at the time and, unlike me, there is no sign of him being hounded for the shortfall.
·David Sutherland, also in the housing development market, was another beneficiary of HBOS debt forgiveness in 2009. While was being taken to court to force me to sell because the housing crash had and wiped out my husbands livelihood, his Scottish based company, Tulloch homes, got out of trouble by way of HBOs granting a debt reduction of 68 million pounds.
During these early days of the banking crisis, HBOS’s Chief Executive Peter Cummings was said to have been writing off debt to the tune of 37 million pounds just days before Lloyd's TSB was persuaded to take the HBOS helm. However, this convert policy for debt forgiveness was exclusively for HBOS's lucky corporate and Irish friends while for me, two and half years down the line, the company line remains completely compassionless.
At the time The Irish Times reported, "People want to pay their debts but simply cannot afford to under the terms that were originally agreed" and as a result HBOS will be working with Irish people in these circumstances and writing off shortfalls for those in trouble in both the buy to let market and the residential sector.
Sadly there is to be no such luck for me as, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service, Lloyds banking Group and the infamous HBOS, a mortgage shortfall write off will remain impossibly out of reach for me because of our contractual obligations. Furthermore I am advised I will never to be considered for debt forgiveness regardless of how the shortfall came about or the direness of our financial circumstances.
As this is clearly a very unlucky situation for me, it begs me to ask;
· What extenuating circumstances qualified them (and not me) for HBOS mortgage shortfall write offs?
· How the devil can I qualify for similar favours?
I am told "happiness consists more in the small pleasures of every day life that occur, than in the major events of good fortune" but had I enjoyed the good fortunes of the favoured few debt forgiveness would have rescued me from the life sentence of HBOS persecution that I am currently serving when instead, it is the Devil and not happiness who remains in the everyday fabric of my life's detail.
This is nothing short of hugely unfair...