Former millionairess forced to move into her sister's garden SHED just months after her business crashes

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

By Daily Mail Reporter

Riches to rags: Anyta Crossley now lives at the bottom of her sister's garden after she lost her business during the recession

A mother who just a year ago was a millionaire with a booming business has blamed the recession after she was reduced to living in a garden shed.

Mother-of-two Anyta Crossley, 45, had a healthy bank balance just 12 months ago as her ladies-only gym business went from strength to strength.

She lived a luxury lifestyle in a £450,000 seven-bedroom home, drove a Hummer and had assets of more than a million pounds.

But after the credit crunch savaged her business, her home was sold for just a third of its worth and she went bust.

Misery: The 45 year old former business woman now receives £135 in income support every two weeks to make ends meet

Her riches-to-rags year means she has been living a humiliating existence in her sister's garden shed with her son and two dogs.

She also now receives £135 in income support every two weeks to make ends meet.

Bitter Anita blames the bankers for her woes, saying they failed to offer her help as the downturn crippled her.

Ms Crossley, of Leeds, said: 'I used to live in a seven bedroom house. Now I am living in a shed.

'I was an entrepreneur with a busy gym. I had a big detached house and a cottage, a 1/4 acre garden and I drove a Hummer.

'The gym was worth £600,000 at one point, the house £450,000. I was a millionaire on paper.

'I have worked so hard since I was 17, and been through so much. There are people out there milking the system and I am living in a shed.

'My house has been sold to a developer for just £160,000 and the gym is sitting empty.

'It just doesn't make sense. I have never been so degraded as I have been in the last few months.'

Gone bust: 1st step Gym which used to be owned by Anyta Crossley, who has now lost everything and lives, in a shed at the bottom of her sister's garden

Ms Crossley ran First Step and lived in the upmarket Whitecote area, but the recession destroyed her once successful business.

Her mortgage repayments more than tripled so her house was repossessed, and the previously successful business soon went under.

She has now asked the financial ombudsman to review the processes which led her to lose her home, and is adamant that the bank did not offer her the help and information she was legally entitled to.

Her first application for council housing was rejected but she has now finally been offered temporary accommodation.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: 'After reviewing Miss Crossley's personal circumstances, we have made her an offer of self-contained temporary accommodation for herself, her two children aged 18 and 20 and her two dogs.

'We believe that this offer of accommodation will address Miss Crossley's immediate housing needs and will continue to work with her to explore longer-term housing options.'


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