Here’s the transcript from Liveline today:
5.15mb / 5m34s
Mary, more money trouble. You paid €67.000 for your apartment in Spain, near Alicante.
And where’s it now?
MARY: It’s totally gone, Joe. I bought in 2003. I paid €67.000 for it and last year I got a letter from the local government in Santa Pola …
MR. DUFFY: Mmm hmm –
MARY: …saying that the building was beyond repair, and they were going to have to demolish
MR. DUFFY: And did they?
MARY: They did, it’s totally gone. There’s not a sign of it. And I took a loan out with a bank in Elche, near Santa Pola in Spain. I’ve tried to contact them, Joe. I’ve wrote to them; I’ve phoned them, to explain the situation, and nothing, absolutely nothing has come back to me. And now, the situation is now, the space is totally empty…
MR. DUFFY: Mmm hmm –
MARY: …the Spanish government, before they give planning permission for a new property in Spain, they want a thing called a ‘communal loan’, where each person in the building is responsible for each others mortgage. Do you understand what I mean?
MR. DUFFY: No.
MARY: Well, if you were on the same floor as me, Joe …
MR. DUFFY: Oh yeah, ok –
MARY: … and you didn’t pay your mortgage, I’d be responsible for your mortgage.
MR. DUFFY: Oh, that’s bizarre, but anyway.
MARY: Absolutely. And as well as that, they want to build it into a commercial property. And it wouldn’t be a
commercial property, it’d be a block of, it would just be a block of flats. But, what they mean by commercial property is that, it’s like
it’d be a shop on the bottom floor, when there wouldn’t be a shop on the bottom floor.
MR.DUFFY: But you paid €67.000, you got a mortgage from a local, are you still paying that mortgage by the way?
MARY: Joe, I was paying it up to last September, and when they wouldn’t, when they wouldn’t reply to my letters, I stopped. But now
I’m going to be a bad debtor in the European Union, you know, I’m going…
MR.DUFFY: You’ve stopped paying your mortgage because the apartment is gone?
MARY: I did. I have to stop paying it Joe, because I’ve nothing to pay it for. There’s no property to pay it for.
MR.DUFFY: And you had to contribute money, apparently towards the demolition costs.
MARY: Yeah, my con… I found a solicitor in Santa Pola, and she told me, now I’ve letters to prove this, that I would have to pay my contribution to the demolition cost, which I did. And I’ve got an email then on Monday, this is why I ringing you Joe, you’re my last hope. I got an email on Monday from my solicitor …
MR.DUFFY: mmm –
MARY: … to say that the, (cough), sorry, excuse me, the Spanish Government is still working on it, but now there’s another problem because there’s a building I decide of where my property was, and the two buildings are now damp and rat infested.
MR.DUFFY: Because they would have been exposed because of the demolition…
MR.DUFFY: My God.
Mary: But what she said in the email is that, the builder who took down the property, didn’t do it in the right measurements.
MR.DUFFY: And why did they demolish your place?
MARY: They demolished it; there was eight of us in all, the rest of the people were Spanish, Joe. They said the building was beyond repair. They couldn’t fix it.
MR.DUFFY: And when you, did you ever go on holiday in it, stay on holiday?
MARY: Oh, I did, many a time, Joe, many a time …
MR.DUFFY: And what was, and, how was…
MARY: … it was my little haven in the Sun, that’s what it was.
MR.DUFFY: And what was it like when you went there?
MARY: It was grand, Joe, it was nothing amazing it was just very basic, they had two little bedrooms, a kitchen, a sitting room.
Just what I wanted, just to get away, to chill out on my own.
MR.DUFFY: Hmm mmm –
MARY: And the time I bought it Joe, things weren’t amazing in my life, but that’s what I probably, looking back, probably made, bought it too soon, but it was just my little hideout, and now there’s nothing and I still owe money.
MR.DUFFY: But what, when you were taking out the mortgage, you know the way the mortgage company come and check your house because
it’s their …
MARY: No, it wasn’t a mortgage company, Joe, it was a bank …
MR.DUFFY: It was a bank.
MARY: And you see, there was always, there was already a previous loan on this, on this property, so while I just did is take over the loan.
MR.DUFFY: Oh yeah, I know what you mean. God, I, yeah, yeah –
MARY: You understand what I mean? And I never missed one repayment until they actually took down my, demolished the whole property.
MR.DUFFY: So, your little haven became a nightmare?
MARY: It’s absolutely a nightmare, Joe, and where I go with this, I do not know. I’ve tried every angle. I’ve contacted an MEP in Co. Cork,
Kathy Sinnott. My local politician now wasn’t an awful lot of good to me, I have to say, but where I go with this, Joe, you’re my last hope, so if you, if anyone out there in my situation, or any advice, I really would appreciate it.
MR.DUFFY: So what do you do. Apparently it’s happening a lot, if your apartment or property is demolished in Spain, have you any comeback basically?
MARY: I don’t know. According to my solicitor in Spain, I’ve nothing.
MR.DUFFY: Ah, God.
MARY: I’ve absolutely no comeback as far as I can see.
MR.DUFFY: And how much is outstanding on the loan.
MR.DUFFY: An you’re just not paying it?
MARY: At the moment I’m not paying it, no.
MR.DUFFY: For obvious reasons, because the property is no longer …
MARY: Well, for obvious reasons. I never even got a phone call, Joe, a letter, nothing, from the bank. You know, if …
MR.DUFFY: But do you know any of your other neighbours in the place, especially Spanish, I mean …
MARY: But there all mostly Spanish, Joe. My Spanish would be very basic.
MARY: Errant, you know.I was listing to your last callers, about, when people own sixty cent on a card, what happened.
MR.DUFFY: Sixty three, yeah.
MARY: But I owe forty seven thousand now. And they never wrote to me, they never phoned me. Nothing, absolutely nothing. So what their plan is I don’t know. All I wanted is my little two roomed flat in the sun. That’s all I wanted.
MR.DUFFY: Yeah. Ok, and the project, the space is still there, there’s nothing being built on it.
MARY: Yes, the space is still there, Joe, because I seen it. The space is most certainly there. Nothing else is being put on it.
MR.DUFFY: It must break you heart to still look at it?
MARY: I don’t go very often as you can imagine. Yes,it does of course. Absolutely.
MR.DUFFY: Ok, that’s a bit of, an awful, a bit of bad luck, Mary. Ok, may… ,ok, yeah…
MARY: Well, Joe Duffy, I think you’ve a brilliant programme, and if there’s anything you can do for me I would really appreciate it.
MR.DUFFY: Well, the main thing it to try and get information from other people who might have been in the same predicament.
Well, Mary, best of luck for the time being.
MARY: Ok, Joe…
MR.DUFFY: Mind yourself.
MARY: Enjoy the show, take care. God bless, bye bye .
MR.DUFFY: Very kind. Mind yourself pet.
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