Thursday 16 August 2018

AIB seeks €6m from widow for son's debt

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Tim Healy

An application by AIB for summary judgment of €6m against a woman who, with her late husband, acted as co-guarantors of loans used to acquire properties including a shopping centre has been admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court list.

AIB is seeking judgment against Siobhan Smith who the bank claims - along with her husband, businessman Frank Smith - agreed to act as guarantors to a €50m loan it advanced to their son, developer Gary Smith and his wife Amanda, in 2007.

The loans were used to acquire Ashleaf Shopping Centre in Crumlin and 33 acres of land at Callighstown, Rathcoole in Co Dublin.

As security for those loans, AIB claims it was given legal charges over the shopping centre, the adjoining Submarine Bar, lands at Rathcoole, and a legal charge over a 20-year lease of 120 car parking spaces.

Siobhan Smith, Loughcasa Lower, Barberstown, Straffan, Co Kildare, and her late husband, also agreed to a guarantee in the amount of €6m as security for the loans, AIB says.

In 2013, receivers were appointed over Gary Smith's assets including the shopping centre and the bar, and AIB secured a judgment for €51m against him.

In December 2013, Gary Smith was adjudicated as a bankrupt in the UK.

In its proceedings, AIB claims Frank Smith, who died in 2015, had entered into a settlement with it in relation to the monies owed arising out of the guarantee.

It claims that settlement was not complied with.

AIB claims Mrs Smith, who is the executrix of her husband's estate, has failed to put forward a reasonable proposal to address her liability to the bank.

It also claims Mrs Smith has failed to take any steps to progress the administration of her husband's estate.

AIB, which also alleges Mrs Smith has sold two properties in Spain for €1.7m, made a demand from repayment in January 2018. However, it claims that in breach of the guarantee she has failed to pay the sum AIB says is due and owing.

Arising out of the alleged failure to repay the monies AIB seeks judgment for €6m against her. The case was admitted to the commercial list on Monday by consent and will come back to court in April.

Irish Independent

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