Saturday 23 September 2017

Couple with alleged €1.4m debt avoid repossession

The Four Courts in Dublin
The Four Courts in Dublin

Tim Healy

REPOSSESSION proceedings against a couple over a IR£40,000 mortgage debt which grew to €1.4m have been struck out at the High Court.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said the balance of justice favoured striking out Home Funding Ltd's application to have the repossession application re-entered against John and Shelia Nolan.

She said a near 10-year delay by the company in advancing the application was both inordinate and inexcusable.

The court heard the Nolans of Tallaghan, Ballinagare, Castlerea, Co Roscommon, entered into a mortgage agreement on their home in 1997 with the Wise Mortgage Company Ltd.

It was later transferred to Home Funding (now called Vivier Mortgages Ltd).

The IR£40,000 loan was to be repaid over 15 years. It was alleged the couple stopped making repayments in 2000.

Lawyers wrote to the couple claiming €1.4m was due last year. The couple asked the court to dismiss the application.

Home Funding claimed the delay was due to an oversight, including a receiver being appointed to the company in 2007, and there had been negotiations aimed at settling the matter.

The Nolans rejected those reasons, and claimed they were prejudiced by the lengthy delay.

They also claimed Home Funding's failed to disclose the real reasons for the delay, including difficulties encountered by founder Ian Leaf, including that he had a spell in prison.

Mr Leaf was extradited to England from Switzerland in 2004, the court was told. He was convicted of 13 counts of fraudulent trading.

The judge yesterday struck out both the application for repossession and a counterclaim brought by the Nolans. Costs were awarded in favour of the Nolans, but were stayed in the event of an appeal.

Irish Independent

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