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Bank insists MEP Wallace's house will have to be sold over €910k debt

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Mick Wallace. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Mick Wallace. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Mick Wallace. Photo: Steve Humphreys

MEP Mick Wallace has been unable to put forward a “sustainable solution” to avoid having his home repossessed by a bank, a court has heard.

AIB Mortgage Bank is seeking to repossess the Ireland South MEP’s residence on Clontarf Road in Dublin over an unpaid debt of €910,800.

Dublin Circuit Civil Court heard today Mr Wallace has been corresponding with the bank in recent weeks.

However, Brian Conroy BL, for AIB said: "No substantive progress has been made and the bank’s position is there is no sustainable solution to the debt which doesn’t involve the property being sold."

The MEP was not in court when the matter was mentioned today.

His counsel, Jack Tchrakian BL, said the MEP had been in Bolivia, observing the presidential elections, and would not be returning to Brussels until this evening.

AIB has rejected a number of proposals in recent months aimed at staving off the repossession of Mr Wallace’s home.

Mr Conroy told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that in circumstances where there had been no real progress in finding a solution, he was instructed to seek a date for a repossession hearing.

There was no objection to this by Mr Tchrakian BL, for Mr Wallace. But he said he needed time to put in a further affidavit from Mr Wallace this week.

He said the affidavit would be signed as soon as Mr Wallace returns to Brussels.

The court heard there had already been nine affidavits filed and the full hearing of the matter could take an hour and a half.

After receiving confirmation there was no tenant in place at the property, Judge Linnane adjourned the matter to next month, when she will fix a hearing date.

At a previous hearing in July, the court heard Mr Wallace was seeking information on the value of his pension, at the request of the bank.

At the time he was given a fortnight to come up with a fresh plan.

The court was told that while Mr Wallace was making payments of €2,000-a-month to the bank, he was getting further and further in arrears as the monthly interest payments due on the loan were €2,500.

A hearing last June was told Mr Wallace’s financial circumstances had improved as a result of his election to the European Parliament.

The politician’s €105,000 salary as an MEP is around €10,000 more than he earned as a TD for Wexford.

The proceedings were issued in late 2017 and while there doesn’t appear to have been any dispute in relation to the amount of the debt or the amount of arrears, Mr Wallace has raised various issues in affidavits that will need to be dealt with at a full hearing.

These include “an alleged forbearance agreement” and a technical issue in relation to the entity that is entitled to sue Mr Wallace.

Mr Wallace, a former building contractor, entered bankruptcy in December 2016, but has since been discharged.

Despite this he still remains tied to an agreement to continue making payments to the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy until the end of February next year.

The house at the centre of the case has been described as Mr Wallace’s primary residence.

The then builder borrowed €825,000 to purchase the property in 2004.

Official Assignee Christopher Lehane is not objecting to the bank’s bid to get possession of the property, which is said to be valued at between €900,000 and €1m.

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