Thursday 19 July 2018

Ex-Westlife singer Filan's wife sued by vulture fund

Former Westlife singer Shane Filan and his wife Gillian
Former Westlife singer Shane Filan and his wife Gillian
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The wife of former Westlife singer Shane Filan is being sued in the High Court by a US vulture fund.

The case is being taken against Gillian Filan (38) by a subsidiary of Cerberus, which bought a number of mortgage debts she and her husband had with Ulster Bank.

High Court records indicate the case was initiated by lawyers for the fund on Thursday.

It comes just five years after her husband was declared bankrupt in a UK court with debts of €23m.

Mr Filan (38) exited bankruptcy the following year and has subsequently embarked on a solo career.

It is unclear what specific issue is at the heart of the case against Mrs Filan as papers have yet to be filed.

However, the fund is seeking summary judgment, which is a common step taken by a lender when it wants to begin enforcing a debt.

If successful, the court would find in their favour without a full trial. The case is being taken by Cerberus subsidiary Promontoria (Aran) Ltd, a firm which is managing a debt portfolio, known as Project Aran, purchased from Ulster Bank for €1.4bn in 2014. Neither Cerberus nor the Filans had any comment to make.

Land Registry records list Shane and Gillian Filan as co-owners of three properties in Co Sligo, all of which had Ulster Bank mortgages.

However, between September 2015 and July of this year Promontoria (Aran) Ltd was registered as the owner of those mortgage debts. The properties are a house in Caltragh and two apartments in Ballinode.

Father-of-three Filan filed for bankruptcy at Kingston County Court in south-west London in 2012 after becoming overexposed after investing heavily in property.

He was living in Surrey at the time. He and his family are now living in Sligo. Shafin Developments, the property development company he set up with his brother Finbarr, also went into receivership.

The singer said he opted for bankruptcy after exhausting all other options.

During his career with Westlife, the group sold over 50 million albums.

Irish Independent

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