#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 12°C Friday 1 July 2022

Man diagnosed with advanced cancer - then finds out his mortgage insurance was mis-sold

The man is waiting to hear if he will get mortgage insurance and fears that he may end up in financial trouble.

Posed by model
Posed by model
Image: Man via Shutterstock

BEING TOLD YOU have advanced cancer is a hugely stressful event as it is – but discovering that you were mis-sold a mortgage insurance policy just adds to the stress.

That’s what happened to one TheJournal.ie reader, who was diagnosed with advanced cancer recently and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

When he approached the bank to sort out mortgage insurance, as he won’t be working while getting treatment, he discovered that he was mis-sold a mortgage policy.

He had been able to top up his original mortgage over the years, and did so twice. It transpired that the largest top-up insurance had been mis-sold, which means that his insurance will not cover all of his mortgage repayments.

Touched by Jackie Crowe’s story

He contacted TheJournal.ie after reading Jackie Crowe’s story. She had her life assurance cancelled after going into arrears of €244, and wanted to warn people about what can happen due to debts like this.

The reader said that his mortgage insurance will cover €800 a month, while his mortgage is €1300.

“You only find that out when you fill in all your paperwork,” he said of the mis-selling.

It’s not the nicest thing to be putting down ‘cancer’ on a form. To literally find out a few days later, through a flippant comment from the bank manager, ‘we can pay €800 of your €1300 mortgage’.

He fears that if the situation is not resolved, by the time he is finished his cancer treatment, he could be €6000 in debt. “I didn’t take the news too well,” said the man.

First steps after getting the diagnosis

When he received his cancer diagnosis, the first thing he did was sort out mortgage insurance. He said his bank is aware that policies have been mis-sold.

He fears going into arrears as if “anything happens” in the next six months, this could affect his family just as debt has affected Jackie Crowe.

“If I don’t recover, my family will get 60 per cent towards mortgage payments,” he said. The bank has offered to give a break in payments, but this would put three payments at the end of his mortgage, and incur more interest.

Bringing his case to the bank

The man has now brought his case to the bank to see if the decision can be overturned, so that he can get full insurance. He said that he will not find out until June what the situation is, and until then he will be wracked with worry.

“I have a very good case to bring,” he said.

I’m sitting here for the last two months and it’s the only thing I’m thinking of. I’m on a high dose of chemo and I don’t think there’s been a day now that I haven’t been trying to talk to [my bank].

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

From speaking to fellow cancer sufferers, he says “I know I’m not alone in this. “Getting cancer is bad enough, but thinking of my family… it’s a different ballgame.”

His mortgage is completely up to date, but he fears he will slide into debt due to not being able to work. He wanted to bring his story to people’s attention as it is the sort of thing people only find out when they are in this situation, he said.

When someone gives you the news [that you have cancer], you go to the bank, tell them ‘I’ve paid my mortgage and have insurance, can you please tick the box and take over’. But there are a raft of obstacles in your way. The form-filling is necessary but completely excessive.

Waiting on a decision

Asked if he had anything to say to bank officials, he said: “Could they just imagine it was one of your brothers and sisters and someone was sitting in front of them doing what they’re doing to me.”

He also said he would like bank staff to be “more disability friendly or illness friendly”, as he has to be careful about his health and exposure to illness when visiting public places.

“I’ve literally had to say to this bank manager, ‘I am unlike 99.999 per cent of your customers and yet you are treating me the exact same.”

He will continue to wait and see if his mortgage insurance can be resolved. Until then, he will keep undergoing chemotherapy – and try not to worry.

Read: Teen who raised more than £3 million for cancer charity dies>

Read: €244 in arrears loses terminal cancer patient her life assurance policy>

Read next: