Jobless engineer loses home over mortgage debt

Oxford Mail: MISERY: David Child has been evicted from his home because he can't pay his mortgage. He is living in the camper van in front of his former home MISERY: David Child has been evicted from his home because he can't pay his mortgage. He is living in the camper van in front of his former home

CIRCUIT board designer David Child is facing an uncertain future after spending Christmas Day sleeping in a park.

Electronics engineer Mr Child was made homeless because he was unable to pay the mortgage on his house in Shannon Close, Grove.

Now he says he doesn’t know what he will do in 2014.

Mr Child, 54, said: “Christmas was rubbish. I slept in a park on Christmas Eve and I managed to crash out for Christmas Day.

“The police will arrest me again for vagrancy, and I can’t get a job if I don’t have an address.

“I can’t move forward.”

Mr Child, who has been divorced seven years and has two adult children, still owes Barclays a large amount - more than £40,000 -  on the mortgage for his £400,000 house as well as he says around £15,000 in arrears. 

He says he is expecting to be given some money from the sale of his house, which has been repossessed by Barclays, but doesn’t know how much or when.

During his career he worked as a freelance consultant on circuit board design first at Culham and then at Milton Park.

Freelance work dried up about three years ago and since then he has not been able to find a job.

Mr Child, who is claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, said he rented out the rooms in his house to bring in extra money, but it was not enough.

In desperation he offered all the money he had to Barclays, but says it was still not enough.

He was evicted in August and since then has been sleeping in his camper van in the front drive.

He is applying for jobs and looking for alternative accommodation but says he hasn’t had any luck and has been arrested twice on suspicion of vagrancy although he hasn’t been charged with anything.

His 85-year-old mother lives in Norwich, but he said she didn’t like the idea of a homeless person staying in her house over Christmas.

He said: “She doesn’t even comprehend my position.”

He uses both Abingdon and Wantage food banks, and has been to Oxford Homeless Pathways shelter in Luther Street several times, but he said: “You can’t sleep there or take a shower.”

In January 2011, Mr Child was one of a group of “guerrilla poets” who were told to stop leaving poems lying around Grove by the parish council.

Barclays spokeswoman Julia Husband said: “Prior to repossessing the property, Barclays will have exhausted every avenue to support a customer in keeping them in their home.

“This includes working closely with our customer to learn more about their circumstances and agreeing a repayment plan.

“Further support includes directing customers to outside organisations who are able to provide independent financial guidance and advice.

“It is never in our or the customer’s interest to repossess a property and when we do so it is the very last resort, and not a decision we take lightly.”

Comments (8)

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7:39am Wed 8 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

This must be far more complex than the details published, particularly concerning the ownership of the property. Otherwise it's a little odd to be prepared to leave £355,000 at risk in a forced sale for the sake of £15,000. The last house sold in this street was at £369,950 in 2011.

Taking 10 years remaining on the mortgage and a home loan rate of 4% gives a monthly repayment of £155. Perhaps there is less of a market in Wantage, but in most Oxfordshire towns you would have a tremendous interest from people prepared to rent a room at £155 a month to "break even" with a mortgage. Rent 2 rooms out of the 4 and that's the council tax bill sorted too.
This must be far more complex than the details published, particularly concerning the ownership of the property. Otherwise it's a little odd to be prepared to leave £355,000 at risk in a forced sale for the sake of £15,000. The last house sold in this street was at £369,950 in 2011. Taking 10 years remaining on the mortgage and a home loan rate of 4% gives a monthly repayment of £155. Perhaps there is less of a market in Wantage, but in most Oxfordshire towns you would have a tremendous interest from people prepared to rent a room at £155 a month to "break even" with a mortgage. Rent 2 rooms out of the 4 and that's the council tax bill sorted too. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -22

9:41am Wed 8 Jan 14

lukewarmdog says...

If there's only £15k left on a £400k mortgage, it's definitely in Barclays best interest to repossess.
If there's only £15k left on a £400k mortgage, it's definitely in Barclays best interest to repossess. lukewarmdog
  • Score: -75

12:23pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

I suspect he owes £15,000 in missed mortgage payments, rather than £15,000 left to pay on the mortgage......
........puzzled though as to why he kept the camper van, when he wasn't able to find work, and was falling behind on his payments
I suspect he owes £15,000 in missed mortgage payments, rather than £15,000 left to pay on the mortgage...... ........puzzled though as to why he kept the camper van, when he wasn't able to find work, and was falling behind on his payments Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -45

12:45pm Wed 8 Jan 14

alu355 says...

Is this the only repossession in Oxfordshire? If not then why is this a newsworthy article?
Is this the only repossession in Oxfordshire? If not then why is this a newsworthy article? alu355
  • Score: -112

6:56pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Darkshadow says...

Perhaps instead of buying whiskey he could have been paying his mortgage.
The guys a drunk.
He has had enough help thrown his way, benefits and bank and chose to continue his distructive ways.
I very much doubt homeless pathways wouldn't have been helpful. He doesn't want help just wants a free ride.
Poor me poor me pour me another drink
Perhaps instead of buying whiskey he could have been paying his mortgage. The guys a drunk. He has had enough help thrown his way, benefits and bank and chose to continue his distructive ways. I very much doubt homeless pathways wouldn't have been helpful. He doesn't want help just wants a free ride. Poor me poor me pour me another drink Darkshadow
  • Score: -98

4:29pm Fri 17 Jan 14

jonny herb says...

He is an alcoholic I lived in that house he drank away the money we gave him for rent then said I would not get my deposit back becoz he did not have it any more I thought it had to be put in to the bank to be able to give me it back later but this never happened. he was getting over £1000 for
Renting out his rooms and then he was still getting benafits on top of that it got to the point where he was throwing up everyday all over the house outside are bedroom doors and the ambulance had to be called becoz he was not eatting and still trying to drink even no it was coming
Back up every time he sipped it ?! he was not a very nice man at all it felt like he had it in for the woman in the house arguing with my partner when he was drunk wile she was six mouths pregnant shouting in her face over not but him being out of his head ! I don't see why any one should feel sorry for
Someone who has brought it up on there self !
He is an alcoholic I lived in that house he drank away the money we gave him for rent then said I would not get my deposit back becoz he did not have it any more I thought it had to be put in to the bank to be able to give me it back later but this never happened. he was getting over £1000 for Renting out his rooms and then he was still getting benafits on top of that it got to the point where he was throwing up everyday all over the house outside are bedroom doors and the ambulance had to be called becoz he was not eatting and still trying to drink even no it was coming Back up every time he sipped it ?! he was not a very nice man at all it felt like he had it in for the woman in the house arguing with my partner when he was drunk wile she was six mouths pregnant shouting in her face over not but him being out of his head ! I don't see why any one should feel sorry for Someone who has brought it up on there self ! jonny herb
  • Score: 4

5:02pm Fri 17 Jan 14

h2b-24seven says...

I also lived in this house and believe me - this man was getting more than enough help and money to pay his mortgage. I tried again and again to get him to attend his AA meetings but all he cares about is his cider. He continuously lied, continuously tried to sabotage my studying by purposely playing loud music and wailing and singing outside my door and never cared about anyone else but himself. He also stole our bond money and used it to buy booze so as far as I am concerned, this man has brought it on himself. If you still feel sorry for him - give him food; but whatever you do - don't give him money as it will go straight on a bottle of cider. This man has refused every bit of help anyone ever offered him and will continue to blame the world for his misfortune. He just doesn't care.
I also lived in this house and believe me - this man was getting more than enough help and money to pay his mortgage. I tried again and again to get him to attend his AA meetings but all he cares about is his cider. He continuously lied, continuously tried to sabotage my studying by purposely playing loud music and wailing and singing outside my door and never cared about anyone else but himself. He also stole our bond money and used it to buy booze so as far as I am concerned, this man has brought it on himself. If you still feel sorry for him - give him food; but whatever you do - don't give him money as it will go straight on a bottle of cider. This man has refused every bit of help anyone ever offered him and will continue to blame the world for his misfortune. He just doesn't care. h2b-24seven
  • Score: 4

8:28pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Moosey says...

Well well Dave now this is what I would call karma. The way you treated everyone who stepped foot in your house to help pay your mortgage (ahem, cider bill) this doesn't even start to cover your comeuppance. I (also) lived with this man for over 14 months and cannot express how he deserves every second of this. We tried and tried and tried to get him off the drink to turn his life back around from which we were told was once 'fruitful' from his lifelong friends. Had to call the ambulance times due to his drunken withdrawals, tried to help him shift his valuable possessions out of the house when we were all evicted but he refused every skerick of help and good will everybody offered including his own family. Not to mention after we were evicted and homeless I went round to discuss our outstanding deposit to see he had broken back in and had others shifted into the rooms to pay for his booze. The man had police called on him a number of times by various tenants for taking and not paying them back their deposits for all sorts of invented reasons. Dave if you read this the drink has ruined your life, you've created this yourself. You threw away everybody's help and I hope for your sake you start on a path of sobriety before you act as a victim.
Well well Dave now this is what I would call karma. The way you treated everyone who stepped foot in your house to help pay your mortgage (ahem, cider bill) this doesn't even start to cover your comeuppance. I (also) lived with this man for over 14 months and cannot express how he deserves every second of this. We tried and tried and tried to get him off the drink to turn his life back around from which we were told was once 'fruitful' from his lifelong friends. Had to call the ambulance times due to his drunken withdrawals, tried to help him shift his valuable possessions out of the house when we were all evicted but he refused every skerick of help and good will everybody offered including his own family. Not to mention after we were evicted and homeless I went round to discuss our outstanding deposit to see he had broken back in and had others shifted into the rooms to pay for his booze. The man had police called on him a number of times by various tenants for taking and not paying them back their deposits for all sorts of invented reasons. Dave if you read this the drink has ruined your life, you've created this yourself. You threw away everybody's help and I hope for your sake you start on a path of sobriety before you act as a victim. Moosey
  • Score: 2

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