Terminally ill mum in desperate bid to keep her home

Martha Johnson, from Higher Folds, Leigh, who has been told she will lose her home for failing to keep up with her mortgage payments
Martha Johnson, from Higher Folds, Leigh, who has been told she will lose her home for failing to keep up with her mortgage payments

A TERMINALLY ill cancer sufferer facing the threat of eviction is desperately appealing for help to ensure she is not left homeless.

Martha Johnson has been told she will be forced to leave her home of 49 years unless she can pay a final lump sum of £35,000 next month after failing to keep up with payments on her interest-only mortgage scheme.

The 70-year-old, who has advanced lymphona, has struggled financially since the death of her husband James from bowel cancer last year and is now facing the prospect of losing the house in Windsor Road, Leigh.

The mum-of-six hopes she will be allowed to continue living at the property during her illness and has warned others about the dangers of applying for mortgages in later life.

Mrs Johnson, who lives with her sons Christopher, 46, and 44-year-old Paul, said: “We’re looking to find some way to keep the house because we don’t want to leave after 50 years. I have no idea what we’ll do if we lose our home.

“We were badly advised to take out an interest-only mortgage while myself and my husband were in our 60s. The mortgage company have been very good and have not been threatening, but in the end they want their money.

“Looking back, we should never have been allowed to take out a mortgage at our age. But we were looking to get something to leave to our children.

“Our only hope is that someone can buy the house and allow us to pay rent or that I will be allowed to stay during my illness.”

Mrs Johnson and her late husband secured a mortgage to buy their home after 36 years as council tenants.

However the pair were forced to drop down to an interest-only mortgage scheme four years later after failing to keep up with their payments.

The family is now meeting with solicitors in an effort to save their home.

Martha’s son James Johnson, of Bank Street, Platt Bridge, said: “We are all at a loss as to where to go from here or what other help my mother can get.

“All this stress of losing her home is tearing her apart. None of her children are in any kind of financial position to help her financially so we have to watch as she becomes more and more upset.

“The loss of her husband after more than 50 years of marriage - the only man she has ever known - as well as the deterioration of her own health, and the prospect of her losing the only home she has ever had, are all contributing to her failing health.

“All we want is to help to try and make what time my mother has left to be as stress free as possible.”