Man €1m in debt gets reprieve as eight lose homes
A MAN with debts of €1m was granted a stay of execution at the High Court after he accused a bank of lending to him despite knowing he couldn't pay back existing loans.
Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne granted eight orders for repossession yesterday.
But she gave the man -- who was present in court -- an adjournment in what she called "a wait-and-see option".
Counsel for the man, who has two residential properties in Naas, Co Kildare, said he had been given a loan of €750,000 to be paid back over 20 years.
But he was offered the loan by Bank of Scotland (Ireland) in order to refinance loans with five other financial institutions that he was struggling to repay.
Some time later, the man was given another loan of €160,000 by the bank for a term of nine months so that he might refurbish the properties.
"The bank knowingly gave loans to the defendant with the full knowledge he could not discharge the loans he already had," argued the man's counsel.
The court heard the man fell into arrears of €122,000 after becoming ill, but had now got "business projects on the go".
The man also pledged to make payments of €10,000 every two months between now and next spring, when he hopes to sell the properties.
Counsel for the bank argued the properties had already been on the market for three-and-a- half years and that the proposal was therefore "unrealistic".
"It's not a very feasible proposal and the indebtedness is likely to continue rising," said the judge. "I appreciate you have had health difficulties and happily you are well again, but this needs a speedy resolution."
She adjourned the case until November 8.
In a separate matter, another man, with arrears of more than €119,000, was also granted a stay on an application for repossession by Bank of Scotland (Ireland).
The landscape gardener, who also appeared in court, said he had spent €5,000 making his property "liveable in again" after a burst water pipe caused extensive water damage before he was burgled and had all of his electrical goods stolen.
Ms Justice Dunne granted him a stay until November but warned him he may be afforded no further breathing space after that point.
Of the eight applications for repossession granted, three were for Bank of Ireland, while there was one each for Bank of Scotland (Ireland), EBS, Ulster Bank, Anglo Irish Bank, and Stepstone Mortgage Funding.