Wednesday 20 September 2017

Judge cites payments debacle as he hits bank with case costs

Greg Harkin

A JUDGE yesterday ordered Ulster Bank to bear its own costs in a repossession case because of the crisis at the financial institution.

The bank was seeking the repossession of a family home in Co Donegal at yesterday's sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court.

A barrister representing the bank asked Judge John O'Hagan to adjourn the case as the bank was not in a position to proceed yesterday "because of the ongoing IT issues".

The judge ordered the bank to issue new papers in the case, effectively forcing it to start the case again against a mother of five and her ex-husband.

He also issued a motion to strike out costs incurred in the case.

Earlier this year, the same judge had told a sitting of the court that he would not repossess any home occupied by a family as long as they represented themselves in court.

The mother, who appeared in court yesterday, declined to comment afterwards.

But legal sources told the Irish Independent that similar issues were arising around the country due to the Ulster Bank debacle.

"The IT issue is causing major headaches for the bank in the courts," said one senior lawyer.

"It effectively puts a stay on repossession orders, like this one. This could prove very expensive for the bank in the long run."

It is thought that the bank will have lost up to €5,000 as a result of yesterday's ruling in costs incurred to date and new costs arising from having to start the case over again.

Irish Independent

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