Tuesday 23 January 2018

Businessman who got €317k mortgage in 2005 owes €352k now, as judge orders repossession

Darren Robinson, pictured leaving the Four Courts after a Circuit Civil Court action. Photo: Collins Courts
Darren Robinson, pictured leaving the Four Courts after a Circuit Civil Court action. Photo: Collins Courts
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A BUSINESSMAN'S efforts to up his mortgage repayments to save his former family home would take 19 years just to pay off his arrears alone, a judge heard Friday.

Barrister Eddie Walsh BL told Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court that Darren Robinson had borrowed €317,000 from Bank of Ireland 12 years ago and now owed a total of €357,680 including almost €79,000 in arrears.

Mr Walsh, who appeared with McDowell Purcell Solicitors for Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank, said Robinson, now living with his mother in Bray, Co Wicklow, defaulted in repayments only a year after buying his family home at 233 Windmill Road, Crumlin, Dublin.

He told the court that proceedings for possession of the property had come before the court nine years ago and Mr Robinson had made a number of promises to pay off lump sums when expected tax refunds came through.

Mr Walsh said they never did.  When his arrears stood at €10,000 in 2009 Robinson had told the court he was due a €15,000 tax rebate and this would more than clear his arrears debt.  The Revenue cheque never materialised.

He said Mr Robinson had obtained 13 adjournments of the proceedings in the Circuit Civil Court by having paid off some arrears and having promised to lodge a €70,000 tax refund due to him for the past year.  As a result of an accountant having considered details of the proposed rebate the figure had fallen to €25,000 but again no payment had had not materialised.

Mr Walsh said that over the last four court appearances Mr Robinson had stated in correspondence he intended increasing monthly repayments of €1,200 to €1,500 but this had never happened.  He was now promising to make monthly payments of €1,800.

Counsel said Mr Robinson was also promising to lodge the €25,000 tax refund, “if ever he receives it,” and make increased monthly payments.

“This is a 13th attempt to kick the matter farther down the road,” Mr Walsh said.

John Ferry, counsel for Robinson, “a building plasterer who felt the full rigour of the economic collapse,” told the court that Mr Robinson and his wife were estranged and he was now back living with his mother in Bray.

Mr Ferry said Mr Robinson was renting out their former home, now the subject of the possession proceedings, and was making monthly repayments to the bank. He said there was a letter before the court from Mr Robinson’s accountant stating he was due a €25,000 tax refund.

Judge Linnane said the court had been told some time ago there was a tax refund of €70,000 due to Mr Robinson and that it would be paid to the bank.  That had now been reduced to €25,000.  A promised tax refund of €15,000 in 2009 had never been paid.

“The refund is not going to make much of an impression on an arrears debt of almost €80,000 and perhaps he should consider selling the house,” Judge Linnane said. “The overall debt is now €357,681 and increasing.”

The judge granted the bank an order for possession with a six months stay on execution of the court’s order.  She also directed that Mr Robinson pay the bank’s legal costs.

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