Saturday 21 April 2018

Court 'won't be troubled' over Somers loan case

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Tim Healy

A summary judgment application for €1.7m against former AIB and Central Bank director Bernard Somers in relation to a loan secured on various assets, including his home in Foxrock, Dublin, "hopefully will not trouble" the Commercial Court, a judge was told yesterday.

Launceston Property Finance DAC issued a demand on October 4 last for repayment, within two days, of some €1.76m allegedly outstanding on a €3.62m loan.

The fund says it was not paid.

Last November, the application for judgment was adjourned until this month during which time talks have been taking place between the sides.

Yesterday, Gary McCarthy SC, for Launceston, asked that he matter be adjourned for mention to today as it would "hopefully not trouble the court".

Mr Justice Brian McGovern yesterday agreed to adjourn the matter.

The court was also told in November that Launceston would know by March 12 if Mr Somers was "as good as his word" and if there were any outstanding issues of dispute.

Launceston's proceedings are for summary judgment against Mr Somers and his wife Marguerite, of Old Bawn, Kerrymount Avenue, Foxrock.

It arises from a 2010 loan for €3.62m made by Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Ltd to the couple.

The fund accepts Ms Somers' liability was limited to her interest in their home, described by the fund as a "very valuable" asset.

After Anglo's collapse, the loan was transferred to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and acquired by the fund in 2014.

Launceston claims the loan was not drawn down for purchasing a family home but that the couple's home was security for it.

The fund claims it had engaged with the couple over alleged failures to make repayments in line with the loan facility terms.

It claims certain repayments were made and, following lengthy negotiations, a debt repayment strategy was agreed in July 2015 which involved the €1.54m proceeds of sale of a property at Upper Mount Street in Dublin being paid to the fund.

It comes as another judgment for €12.8m has been entered in the Commercial Court against a businessman over loans and a guarantee he provided for the liabilities of a now dissolved car recycling business.

Anthony (otherwise Tony) Gannon, Hillcrest Way, Lucan, Co Dublin, did not oppose the application by a fund, Promontoria (Gem), for an order for judgment against him.

The bulk of the debt related to loans provided to him in 2007 and 2008 by Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank in 2007 and by AIB in 2008 and 2009.

Irish Independent

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