Monday 19 February 2018

ACC Bank gets court order appointing a receiver over judgement

ACC Bank has secured a court order appointing a receiver over farm subsidy payments due to a couple this year and in the coming years following their failure to repay a €1.9m judgment obtained by the bank against them.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly agreed today to appoint a solicitor for ACC as receiver, by way of equitable execution, over single farm payments to be made by the Department of Agriculture to James and June Smith, Limetree, Portarlington, Co Laois.

He also agreed to an application by Anthony Fitzpatrick, for ACC, for permission to serve legal documents on the couple via post after being told difficulties had been encountered in serving documents on the couple personally at their farm.

In Commercial Court proceedings, the bank obtained judgment against the couple for €1.93m in late February last arising from unpaid loans advanced in 2007.

Today, Mr Fitzpatrick said the bank had not recovered under that judgment and was seeking to appoint a receiver by way of equitable excution over single farm payments due to be received by the couple this year and in future years.

He said the couple previously looked for more time to make repayments and had said they were relying on payments from the Department of Agriculture as a means of repayment. They had received such payments in the past.

When the bank met with the defendants on April 30 last, they had said they would apply for payments under the Single Farm Payments scheme and the bank understood the deadline for such applications was mid-May, he said.

The bank was told the payment was €92,000 but that had been reduced to €45,000 arising from penalties for using nitrates, he said. The bank was told another creditor had also obtained a judgment against the couple for some €215,000 and the bank was concerned to protect its position.

It was in those circumstances he was seeking the appointment of the receiver, counsel said.

In court documents, the bank said it believed the couple had no substantial assets.

Mr Justice Kelly said the application was effectively brought as part of the bank's effort to execute its judgment. He was satisfied he had jurisdiction to appoint the receiver and would do so. The couple could apply to vary or discharge that order at 72 hours notice to the court and the bank, he added.

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