Businessman given four months to quit €1m home
County Dublin businessman James Dolan, his wife Caroline, and their four children were given four months by a judge to quit their upmarket Malahide home and find other accommodation.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court, when handing the €1m home back to Bank of Ireland, said Mr and Mrs Dolan had over six years ago stopped making monthly repayments of just under €6,000 on their mortgage.
"Nothing has been paid off the mortgage since and arrears now stand at €492,000, just short of half-a-million," Judge Linnane said.
The judge had been told by McDowell Purcell, solicitors for the bank, that the Dolans had borrowed €900,000 from ICS Building Society in January 2009 and had fallen into arrears within three months.
Judge Linnane heard that the monthly repayments of €5,908 stopped in November 2010 and the overall debt now owed to the bank by the Dolans totalled €1,142,407.
John Reid, the bank's legal case manager, told the court in an affidavit that ICS assets, including the benefits of any mortgages, and liabilities had been transferred to the Bank of Ireland since the Dolans had taken out their loan.
He said the first repayment default was in April 2009, just three months after the Dolans had taken out the loan and while some payments had been maintained the bank had moved in March 2013 for full repayment of the loan or vacant possession of the property, Fingal, Seaview Road, Malahide, Co Dublin.
Mr Reid said the Dolans had failed to repay the loan or deliver up possession and the bank was forced to seek possession of their family home.
There had been regular correspondence regarding defaults and outstanding amounts but the Dolans had refused to engage in constructive relations with the bank.
They had been deemed uncooperative and while interest continued to accrue the bank concluded the Dolans had no bona fide defence to its claim for re-possession.
Mr Reid stated that the Dolans had put their home on the market but had been told by the bank there would never be a sale as they had asked for a totally unrealistic price.
Judge Linnane told Mr Dolan, who appeared in court, that there was no merit in a proposed defence that when the transfer of the mortgage from ICS had taken place the bank had failed to add its name to the folio and title of the property.
She said that had anyone taken the time to consult The Central Bank Act they would have realised it was not necessary for Bank of Ireland to have registered its name as owner on the property folio.
Barrister Andrew Robinson, counsel for the Dolans, said he would object formally to the granting of possession to the bank.
While it was true that his clients had not engaged, this had also meant they had not sought out any alternative accommodation.
He asked the court to grant Mr and Mrs Dolan, who had four children, a six months' stay during which they could seek somewhere to live.
Judge Linnane granted them a stay of four months and awarded costs of the proceedings against them in favour of the bank.
She said the Dolans had been aware of the proceedings for some time.