Saturday, August 25, 2012
To The Barricades, Citizens!
His neighbors have manned the barricades to keep the bailiffs away.
The farmer from Co. Limerick is in arrears on loans he made with the Bank of Scotland, and the bank decided that the time had come to foreclose on Mr. Sherlock's property.
As if they have a chance of recouping their losses in the current depressed market. You wouldn't wonder that the land is worth less than it was when Mr. Sherlock obtained the loan. And if you know anything of Limerick, you'd know that anyone who tried to buy the property wouldn't find a warm welcome.
Mr. Sherlock has barricaded himself into his home, and he says that his neighbors are standing up with him, keeping a constant vigil for the bank's representatives.
They shall not pass!
If you're in the vicinity of Feohanagh, southeast of Newcastlewest on the R522, feel free to drop off donations of food. Mr. Sherlock can't get around to the shops, and if you can't man the barricades with him, he could use with a runner to keep him connected to the outside world.
All he needs is time to work out some sort of repayment plan with the bank, but thus far the bank isn't interested in making accommodations.
He says that he's working with a solicitor to settle his debt, but what Mr. Sherlock thinks is a workable plan may not suit the bank's suits.
There was a time when you spoke to someone you knew at the local bank, someone who might have told you outright that you were asking for more than you could handle. We came to a point where big banks in distant cities made decisions, and too often the decision was based on generating more loans without a thought to the individual borrower, because that individual was just a form with numbers.
We have an epidemic of foreclosures, coupled with fevered desperation to hang on to the house or the farm. Maybe the barricade will get the bank's attention, all the way across the Irish Sea. Or maybe all the bank wants is its money back, now, and if it can't have it, well, Mr. Sherlock isn't going to derive any benefit either.