Sunday 26 January 2020

Accountant in last-ditch bid to save €2m family home

Ken Phelan leaving court yesterday
Ken Phelan leaving court yesterday
Ken Phelan's family home at Brighton Road, Rathgar, Dublin, for which he is in arrears of €300,000
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

AN ACCOUNTANT will today make a last-ditch attempt to save his €2m family home after he was ordered to hand possession of it to a building society for falling into €300,000 mortgage arrears.

The Circuit Court order was made yesterday against Ken Phelan, from Brighton Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6, who lives in the house with his children.

He owes ICS building society €2,090,000 and failed to meet repayments of €12,000 a month after a nursing home development he was involved in was put on hold.

But Mr Phelan told the Irish Independent last night that he would meet officials of the building society today in an effort to keep the house.

He said that despite the nursing home venture, he was still working as an independent accountant, and was hopeful that a deal could be done.

The court earlier heard that Mr Phelan was in arrears of €300,000. He told the court he had made a once-off repayment of €100,000 in May 2010 but had been unable to make any further payments since.

"I appreciate you are in financial difficulties and it is a stressful time for you and many people are in the same situation," Circuit Court president Mr Justice Matthew Deery said.

"It is a family home, but you have not put forward any sustainable grounds for believing the money is going to be forthcoming."

Barrister John Donnelly told the Circuit Civil Court there was an outstanding balance of €2,090,000 on Mr Phelan's mortgage for the property.

Mr Donnelly said that on December 14, 2010, the ICS building society had obtained an order for possession from Judge Joseph Mathews, who had granted Mr Phelan a stay of six months on the order.

Mr Phelan had returned to court in July 2011 saying he was involved in a new business which would assist him in discharging his arrears. He had obtained a further six-month stay from Judge Mathews.

Just before Christmas he had returned to the Circuit Court and was granted a further six-month stay, on the basis he would have a new money source to fund the repayments of €12,000 a month.

Possession

But Mr Donnelly said that since obtaining the first stay on the possession order in December 2010, Mr Phelan had not made any repayments.

The building society was asking for the stay to be lifted. He said there was little constructive use for a continuing stay.

Mr Phelan had arrived in court with two cheques, one post dated, totalling €20,000. But the court heard that even if they were honoured they would make a very small dent in the principal debt.

Mr Phelan, who was not legally represented, said he had become involved in the development of a number of nursing homes, but funding for such schemes had been put on hold.

Judge Deery said he would lift the stay on the court's possession order in favour of the building society.

Irish Independent

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