Wednesday 28 June 2017

Court grants bank €9.2m judgment over builder's personal guarantees

Tim Healy

THE High Court yesterday granted Bank of Scotland judgment for €9.2m against a property developer after it found that a guarantee given to the bank six years ago was valid.

Ms Justice Finlay Geoghegan said Charles Fergus, an experienced businessman, had entered into personal guarantees with the bank. She granted the judgment for €9,211,764 -- the amount that was owing by February of last year.

She ruled that a guarantee signed by Mr Fergus on June 1, 2006, was enforceable.

The bank had sought summary judgment orders against Mr Fergus, of Ceol na Mara, Tullan Strand, Bundoran, Co Donegal, arising from his alleged guarantees over loans to his building company, Fergus Haynes (Developments) Ltd.

Default

Following his alleged default on those loans, the bank demanded repayment of €7.79m from the company in September 2008. When that was not paid, it appointed a receiver and brought proceedings in the Commercial Court.

The judge said she was satisfied as a matter of probability that Mr Fergus had signed each of the four original documents termed by the bank as a "guarantee and indemnity".

However, she also said it was extraordinary that a bank would commence proceedings seeking judgment against an individual on 17 guarantees, where many of these were patently unenforceable.

Nevertheless, she added: "It remains the position that Mr Fergus, an experienced businessman did enter into personal guarantees with the bank."

The judge put a limited stay on her order until the case comes before the court again on April 20.

Irish Independent

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