Monday 19 August 2019

Businessman Bernard Rocca and his wife face losing €1m home despite having money to clear off mortgage debt

Bernard Rocca, leaving the Four Courts after a previous court hearing
Pic: Collins Courts
Bernard Rocca, leaving the Four Courts after a previous court hearing Pic: Collins Courts

Ray Managh

Businessman Bernard Rocca and his wife, Theresa, face losing their €1million Castleknock, Dublin home despite having the money in a legal account to clear off a mortgage debt of €131,000 and a second mortgage debt of 10 cent, a court heard Monday.

Barrister Gary Hayes, counsel for Havbell Dac which acquired loans from Permanent TSB, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court today that Havbell was seeking possession of the couple’s home at 30 Woodberry, Castleknock, on foot of the two outstanding mortgages despite one having been paid off bar 10 cent.

Mr Hayes, who appeared with Sherwin O’Riordan solicitors, said Mr Rocca had taken out a mortgage in his own name and there was more than €130,000 outstanding on it. A much smaller loan for the purpose of home renovations had been taken out in the names of both Bernard and Theresa Rocca but this had been paid off.

Judge Linnane said possession of the couple’s family home was being sought on the basis of the two mortgages. She said that only 10 cent was still owed on the smaller home improvement mortgage.

Tim Dixon, who appeared for the Roccas with P.B Cunnigham solicitors, said the full amount of the outstanding debts had been paid by Mr Rocca to his solicitor and was currently in a client account waiting to be handed over to Havbell as soon as the fund provided an undertaking it would release the couple from the securities contained in the initial mortgages.

Mr Hayes said the bank would not release the mortgage securities as commercial loans had been taken out to the extent of €2million on the security of the property at No 30 Woodberry, Castleknock.

Judge Linnane said there were no documents relating to commercial loans of €2million in any of the papers she had read in relation to Havbell’s application before the court for possession of the Rocca family home.

Mr Hayes told the court that Havbell’s wished to proceed with its application for possession of the family home on the basis that, while funds may be held in a legal client account, nothing had been paid over to clear the debts.

Judge Linnane, who said the reason nothing had been paid over was due to the absence of an undertaking to release the mortgage securities, put the proceedings back so that Havbell could respond to correspondence from the Roccas’ legal team, seeking confirmation that on payment of the €131,000 the mortgages would be released.

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