Foreclosure: A farmer’s wife in St. Wolfgang needs a miracle

Foreclosure: A farmer’s wife in St. Wolfgang needs a miracle
A farm in St. Wolfgang is to be auctioned off. Symbolic image: Achirei

Unless a small miracle happens, a family story will end on Thursday in hearing room 1 of the Bad Ischl district court. The foreclosure auction of a property in a “quiet and sunny residential area” is scheduled for 9 a.m. A 2.1 hectare agricultural property and 1.2 hectares of forest in the Graben district of the market town of St. Wolfgang are to go under the hammer. Estimated value: 524,000 euros, starting price: 262,000 euros.

It is Sabine Hinterberger’s farm, owned by the family since 1446. 27 years ago, the 51-year-old took over her parents’ farm together with her two sisters, even back then with debts. Hinterberger, a mother of four and who has won several awards for her products (raspberry yoghurt), wanted to continue running the farm, but her sisters had other plans for the future. So she looked for lenders to “pay her off.” Without success. “Then a phone call came. He said he could help me. And that was the real break in the neck,” says Hinterberger in an interview with “ServusTV” that was broadcast last week. A Vorarlberg investor lent her the money, but insisted that she had to pay everything back within two years.

“I just want to help her”

Hinterberger didn’t succeed, and now the seizure is imminent. The 51-year-old needs 470,000 euros to avert the forced auction of her farm. As of Wednesday morning, she had already collected 170,000 euros. A Carinthian farmer became aware of Hinterberger’s story and launched a fundraising campaign in which more than 600 people from Austria and Germany have so far taken part.

But even if the sum of almost half a million euros is not raised, there is still hope for Hinterberger. Because the Vorarlberg investor, Friedrich Brunauer, has no interest in harming Hinterberger, contrary to TV reports, he said in an interview with OÖNachrichten.

“She doesn’t deserve the situation she’s in, and she’s not responsible for it herself. Sabine is a really hard-working woman who is doing everything in her power to get ahead. But there are family circumstances that don’t make it easy for her or for me. We need a clear strategy for the farm,” he says.

He had already averted a foreclosure auction in 2020 and doesn’t want Hinterberger to have to leave her farm now. “But I could only offer her interim financing and not long-term financing. I charged five percent interest and waived everything else. The two years have expired and the interest has not been paid,” says Brunauer. Now he had to take a step “so that something can move forward.”

However, Brunauer held out the prospect of withdrawing or at least postponing the auction. “I’m meeting those involved in the fundraising campaign on Wednesday, which I think is an excellent cause. But paying off the debt isn’t enough for the farm’s healthy future. Investments are also needed,” he says.

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Source: Nachrichten

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