Saturday 15 June 2019

Nothing paid off Dublin 4 couple's mortgage since 2015, court hears

The Four Courts
The Four Courts

Ray Managh

A DUBLIN couple living in a select area of the city and who have not paid anything off their mortgage for the past four years have been told by a judge that in her experience, even lone parents, pay something off their debts.

“Vulture Fund” Havbell Dac is seeking to re-possess the home of Pat and Freda O’Kane, who live at 64 Tritonville Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4, and who, a court has been told, owe almost €780,000 on a mortgage it took over from another bank.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court told self-employed quantity surveyor Patrick O’Kane and his wife, Freda, who sat at the back of her court listening to the re-possession proceedings that they had been living in the house since October 2015 without paying anything.

The judge said she hoped that the suggestion of the couple’s barrister that this may constitute “a reality check” for the O’Kanes would get through to them.

Judge Linnane said the couple had the benefit of legal advice from their solicitor when they signed for a business residential loan in 2002 and again in intervening years when they increased their indebtedness.

The court, which had been told that in December 2017 the couple owed €778,522, directed that within the next month Mr O’Kane swear an affidavit outlining their current position and detailing their financial position.

Judge Linnane said that in other cases where possession was being sought by banks she inevitably learned that there were other outstanding debts. Mr O’Kane had sought the advice of a financial adviser under the personal insolvency process but had failed to inform the bank when his relationship with that adviser had ended.

The judge told the couple that the value to them of their home was being eroded. They could sell the property and afford to trade down mortgage free to a smaller property.

She said that irrespective of any issue raised by the two defendants there was an undisputed default in repayments on their mortgage. The court also allowed Havbell Dac time to reply to Mr O’Kane’s affidavit and suggested the court would be in a position to have a full hearing on the application for possession by October next.

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