The Solstice Brought Hope

Wednesday morning, long, LONG, before the dawn, I tweeted a message about the days getting longer and that the Solstice brought hope. I’ve not been sleeping very well, the stress of everything has been taking its toll. Later on that day as I waited for the letterbox to click, just as I have done everyday since the CEO of Ulster Bank made that promise at the Oireachtas Finance Committee, I felt that hope wane.

The letterbox didn’t click at the usual time and the day got longer. Still no sign of the postman. I sent out a message to the neighbours asking had the postman been yet. Yes, he had, but with nothing for me.

I felt a nagging sinking feeling again. It’s become all too familiar the longer this fight to get our tracker mortgage back goes on. No matter how many professionals told me we would get our tracker rate back, no matter how many times I would go through the file with a fine toothcomb, I still had the fear it wouldn’t happen.

My previous post on the tracker mortgage issue and how we were banking on Christmas stress.

Our dealings with the bank over the years have been difficult. Pay your mortgage in full and on time, the bank won’t contact you, you don’t contact the bank. But start having problems, that’s when the real issues with the bank start. I won’t go into too much here for now, let’s just say though that the bank definitely don’t have my trust and probably never will as a result of our experiences.

A piece I wrote for The Journal which expanded on how unfair the tracker mortgage issue is.

I chanced my arm and rang the mortgage department and asked them to confirm what our repayment would be on the 1st of January. To my surprise they mentioned a figure far lower than we normally pay. I scrambled for something to write with and ended up with a purple crayon and scrawled the figure on the back of an envelope. I asked the call centre what the interest rate was, and then I knew it was going to happen, we were going to get the letter.

Sobbing, I rang my husband, who thought something was majorly wrong when I got him at work. I could barely talk through the tears. I explained what I had been told over the phone. “Did you record it?” This was the first question he asked, mistrust of the bank is something we have in common. Kicking myself, I admitted I hadn’t in my haste.

Yesterday we had hope on the Winter Solstice. We dared to ring our parents and tell them that we would, fingers crossed, get the letter by Friday. We told our siblings and a few close friends who had been supporting us. I couldn’t put it up on social media because I was terrified that the letter wouldn’t arrive. I didn’t have actual, physical proof in my hand.

Chatting to Sean O’Rourke 2 weeks ago today about how we managed while in mortgage arrears.

This morning the letterbox clicked and a bundle of letters landed on the mat.

One of those letters was the one that we had been waiting on. The letter that confirmed we had been placed back on our tracker rate in time for our next repayment on the 1st of January.

I spoke again to Sean O’Rourke to update him on the letter. If you click here you can listen to the podcast from this morning.

What does this mean for us?

First of all I get to say ‘I was right’. That’s important. 🙂

We know we’ve won this battle but the war is not over. Our mortgage repayment goes down by about €300 per month right away. However, we are expecting the repayment amount to get smaller again once the bank fix the capital amount we owe.

There are many, many unanswered questions about our file that we need to get the bank to take a look at.

We’ve to wait until March now, when the bank will write to us again to let us know when we can expect redress and compensation, but I don’t think it will actually arrive in March.

This has been a long road and we have a while to go yet. I’ll be sure to update you when I have anymore news but we got a Christmas present that we didn’t dare to hope for.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for reading, supporting, sharing, and discussing this issue. It’s become clear over the past week that the tracker issue is far larger than anybody realised. We know we’re not alone in this and we hope that other families got similar good news in time for Christmas.

I can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring. I truly feel like we’ve turned a corner. There has been a weight on my chest since we first started getting into difficulties many years ago. Today, when I opened the letter it lifted. I can smile from my eyes, truly from my eyes. I don’t feel like I have to put on a show or a mask to go out. I know there might be more dark days ahead but I feel better equipped to deal with them.

Happy Christmas from our family to yours.




I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


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