Friday 24 February 2017

Nama may allow McNamara to keep €500,000 from sale of home

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

NAMA may allow 'broke' developer Bernard McNamara to keep up to €500,000 from the recent sale of his Ailesbury Road mansion to buy a new home.

Asked by the Sunday Independent what specific allowance it makes for developers whom it has placed into receivership who sell their family homes to pay down their debt, a spokesman for Nama readily conceded that a portion of the sale proceeds could still be made available to them.

Mr McNamara -- who has admitted to owing his various creditors more than €1.5bn -- saw receivers being appointed to Michael McNamara Construction in November of last year.

Defending what will invariably be seen as one more example its 'soft' treatment of developers, Nama's spokesman cited the "likely attitude of the courts".

"This is decided on a case-by-case basis but a portion of the sale proceeds may be made available in these situations [where a developer has had a receiver appointed] not least because of the influence of the Family Home Protection legislation in this area, the fact that a debtor's partner [who may not be a Nama debtor] may be co-owner of the family home and the likely attitude of the courts to any dispute," the spokesman said.

In the case of the McNamaras' Ailesbury Road home, filings at the Registry of Deeds clearly indicate that the property is co-owned by the Clare-born developer and his wife, Moira. According to the most recent of these records, Mr and Mrs McNamara took out a mortgage against the house on December 23, 2008, with Anglo Irish Bank.

While it had been mooted previously that Nama was 'doing deals' with developers and their wives in which the wife would voluntarily surrender her automatic right to a 50 per cent stake in the family home to keep her husband's business afloat, the news that the agency is also prepared to hand over up to €500,000 to someone whom it has already placed into receivership is sure to reinforce the widely-held belief that Nama is little more than a bailout for developers.

In the case of Mr McNamara, the amount afforded to him and his wife, Moira, for the purchase of a new family home would be at the upper end of the scale allowed by Nama, as it would be tied to the value of their existing home.

The McNamaras' 10,000 sq ft Ailesbury Road residence was sold in recent weeks for a price understood to be in the region of €10m -- some €2.5m below its asking price of €12.5m.

While significant in itself, the sum hardly scratches the surface of the €1.5bn the Clare-born developer has admitted to owing to his creditors.

Nama is now gearing up to recover up to €1.6m more from Mr McNamara from the sale of two mews houses he owns to the rear of his Ailesbury Road home. The houses -- 14A and 16A -- occupy large sites, but are said to require extensive refurbishment.

Numerous efforts by the Sunday Independent to contact Mr McNamara for comment proved to be unsuccessful. As a matter of policy, Nama does not comment on individual clients.

Sunday Independent

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