Business Irish

Saturday 21 October 2017

McCann's US firms 'trying to postpone foreclosure'

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

IBRC liquidators say US firms controlled by Northern Ireland businessman John McCann are attempting to "postpone the day of reckoning" over a foreclosure action in America.

The two companies are attempting to introduce new evidence in a US court case as Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) attempts to have its Irish liquidation recognised by a bankruptcy court there.

Switzerland-based Mr McCann had judgment orders totalling €114m registered against him by a NAMA company in October.

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IBRC special liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson have told the bankruptcy court in the US state of Delaware that the two companies -- Castleway Properties and Walnut-Rittenhouse Associates -- are trying to introduce an affidavit and filings from another case in the US.

The special liquidators said that the two firms are attempting to question the manner in which IBRC was formed as it succeeded Anglo Irish Bank, and also the ownership of Castleway's and Walnut-Rittenhouse's loans.

But Mr Wallace and Mr Richardson have dismissed the efforts by the two firms.

They claim it was a "transparent attempt by a defaulted borrower to postpone the day of reckoning in a foreclosure action" and that it cannot therefore satisfy the court's required standard of "fairness and substantial justice".

IBRC is currently trying to sell assets in the US owned by Castleway and Walnut-Rittenhouse due to an alleged default on certain loans.

In October, a unit of NAMA called National Asset Loan Management secured judgment orders in Dublin for more than €114m against Mr McCann arising from loans and guarantees with three banks, mostly relating to property in Ireland and the UK.

The IBRC bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware have been dragging on for months.

US-based Irish developer John Flynn has asked the bankruptcy court not to recognise IBRC's liquidation in Ireland for the purpose of granting it bankruptcy protection in the US.

Castleway and Walnut-Rittenhouse are also attempting to persuade the US bankruptcy court not to recognise IBRC's liquidation status in Ireland.

Last month, a major Boston property group and another firm with borrowings from IBRC asked the Delaware court to prevent the institution from disclosing confidential information about its business as the bank's special liquidators try to sell its loan.

Lawyers for Mr McCann's companies are due in court today as the judge listens to arguments about introducing additional evidence.

Irish Independent

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