Friday 28 April 2017

Loan repayment files were in order - solicitor with Gerald Kean's firm tells court

Celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean. Photo: Justin Farrelly

Tim Healy

A solicitor with Gerald Kean’s law firm has told the High Court her files concerning repayment of loans made by Educational Building Society (EBS) to a woman for properties in Co Waterford were in order when she checked them in 2008 and the records were “clear”.

Sharyn Coghlan agreed with Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, for EBS, an original letter from EBS concerning a particular property of Dolores Corcoran’s was not on the file and said she was surprised by that. 

She was being cross-examined in EBS’ continuing action against Mr Kean alleging he has not adhered to a signed undertaking to return to EBS title documents of the properties.

EBS alleges that June 2008 letter showed two residential properties of Ms Corcoran's - at Portnahully, Carrigeen and Hunter's Way, Williamstown - were subject to cross-charges in favour of EBS.

Ms Coghlan, a conveyancing solicitor who handled the loans redemption sought as part of a refinancing with Permanent TSB in 2008 of Ms Corcoran's EBS loans, has told the court that particular letter was received sometime after she had arranged, based on information supplied by EBS,  for redemption of Ms Corcoran's loans for the two properties and after cheques were sent to EBS.

Three other EBS redemption letters sent in June 2008 in response to four letters from her seeking redemption figures made no reference to cross-charges, she said.

She said the Kean firm had since 2008 acknowledged receipt of the fourth EBS letter and there was no dispute it was received.

She agreed the fourth letter had not been exhibited in an affidavit by her for the case but said that matter had been corrected.

When Mr Fitzpatrick put to her there were deficiencies in the record keeping of the Kean firm in this matter, she said the files were in order when she checked them in 2008 in relation to repayment of Ms Corcoran's loans.

She was not involved in the process of discovering documents for EBS’ case against Gerald Kean, Ms Coghlan said.

She agreed Mr Kean, as principal of the firm, gave an accountable trust receipt undertaking to EBS concerning holding title deeds for properties of Ms Corcoran.

She also agreed, when she wrote four letters seeking redemption figures from EBS for the Corcoran loans, her letters were addressed to its redemptions department and not any named individual.

She was being cross-examined in EBS’ continuing action against Mr Kean alleging he has not adhered to a signed undertaking to return to EBS title documents of the Portnahully and Hunter’s Way properties.

The court has heard Ms Corcoran in 2008 had refinanced, with Permanent TSB, three of four loans taken out by her with EBS.

EBS claims some €600,000 is outstanding to it under those loans and its security includes a first legal charge over the Portnahully and Hunter's Way properties.

Mr Kean denies the claims.

Earlier, Ms Coghlan told Richard Kean SC, for Gerald Kean, there was "no merit" to EBS' suggestion she should have opened an individual file for each of Ms Corcoran's EBS loan accounts. She received no complant from Ms Corcoran in relation to this matter, she said.

She agreed she had heard counsel for EBS saying he was making no allegation whatsoever against her.

She said she considered certain things said in the opening of the case amounted to saying she was "not doing my job" and she objected to that.

Mr Fitzpatick told Mr Justice Michael Twomey he would address issues raised concerning his opening of the case at a later stage.

The case continues.

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