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This woman is an idiot. I say this not as a bank employee, but as somebody who has gotten into debt myself.

"My debts are not a result of going on spending sprees and exotic holidays"

Good for you, because I'm sure your reasons for being in debt make you so much more worthy than anybody else.

"To buy the restaurant, my husband and I had to re-mortgage the family home and my two small buy-to-let properties."

Right. So you own four properties then - a restaurant, a family home, and two places you rent out. Poor you.

"After last July's London bombings, the restaurant suffered a considerable drop in custom [..] In November 2005, I became pregnant as planned."

Okay, so this is a woman who works as an IT contractor (i.e., no maternity pay), who has planned to get pregnant in the months following their business suffering, while having mortgages on multiple properties.

"To make matters worse, in a chance phone call from my bank manager I told her I was pregnant and she immediately questioned whether this was the right time for me to be having a baby. Since when did bank managers assume the right to question when their customers decide to have a baby?"

Well it's a good thing that somebody is questioning it.. Where was the question "Are we in the appropriate financial situation to start a family?" when it was needed, eh?

"I will not have enough income to pay any of my mortgage [..] repayments from June onwards. I considered selling my buy-to-let properties, but they are mortgaged up to the hilt and doing the sums I found I would lose money rather than make it. I also need the rental income during my maternity."

Wow, so you won't have the money to pay the mortgage on the buy-to-let properties, yet you'll be making use of the rent on them. So basically, the bank has bought these properties for you, so that you can make money off them, while the bank sits there receiving nothing. Whatever happened to the old saying, "your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it"? Them's the terms, woman - you don't get to muck about by not paying the mortgage, but still collecting rent. If I were your bank, I'd take those places off your hands.

"Eventually, I suggest a year-long payment holiday, with interest frozen until I return to full time work after my maternity leave."

!! Cheek! In that time, inflation will have depreciated the value of the pound by 2%, so it's like asking for 2% of your lending to be wiped out! Secondly, that means that she's expecting to get a year's worth of rent on each of her buy-to-let properties, completely free of charge..

"I know that the public view of debtors is that they are profligate - spending money they don't have in the shops. My position could not be further from this often mistaken impression."

Again, it's the "I should be treated differently because my debt is somehow more worthy".. It's not. It's money that you owe, because you made choices, and they didn't work out. Nowhere here does she consider selling the restaurant, which is the source of the debts in the first place. Ultimately, the economy only has winners because it also has losers - if you take risks in order to try to be a winner and fail, you should be gracious in your defeat.

"Halifax Visa and Barclaycard.."

And at this point I stop listening.. If she also has outstanding card debt from two providers that she won't be able to pay off, then she's obviously not as good with money as she'd like to think she is.

Ultimately, it just annoys me.. she took out mortgages on additional properties she holds, in order to finance a business which hasn't met expectations. The risks will have been made clear to her from the start. So I don't see why she's being all whiny about it. She's right, she's not like other people in debt, in her case it was an educated, conscious decision to do it, and now she can't face up to the consequences.

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OK, I'm not a banker, and I'm terrible as shit at math. But I have some basic common sense about personal finance, and here's my question... If she and her hubby were passionate about becoming restauranteurs (which is never a good idea to begin with, IMO), and knew they wanted to start a family sometime in the next, oh, decade, why didn't they just sell their extra properties to begin with and focus on their business instead of mortgaging all that shit?

Yeah, I'm in agreement with you. What most makes her an idiot is not the fact that she made financial mistakes - most of us do that. It's that she's whining about them like it's somehow someone else's fault.

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