'Out before the end of the spring' - Ex-Miss Ireland and restaurateur husband to leave home as fund seeks repossession
Restaurateur Ronan Ryan and his wife, former Miss Ireland Pamela Flood, have vowed to leave their home after a 'vulture fund' moved to repossess it.
Mr Ryan told the Irish Independent that they would be "out before the end of the spring".
The Circuit Civil Court heard yesterday that Mr Ryan had not paid anything off his €1.1m mortgage for more than eight years.
Ms Flood, the 47-year-old former model, was not named on Mr Ryan's 2006 mortgage with Bank of Scotland and is not a defendant in the case. However, following her marriage to Mr Ryan (48) in 2014, she was joined as a notice party to the repossession proceedings relating to a family home.
The bid to take back the couple's home at 136 Mount Prospect Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3, is being made by Tanager, an American-owned "vulture fund", which is the current owner of the mortgage. Mr Ryan told the Irish Independent that he had already agreed to sell the property multiple times as part of previous repossession attempts by previous owners of the loan.
He said that deals to sell the house had fallen through, however.
"The loan has changed hands three times... we never fought it, we always agreed to sell," he said. "For seven years, we've never stopped agreeing to sell the house.
"I played ball the whole away along, we'll be gone out of that house before spring is over."
Mr Ryan said he had bought the house in 2005 for more than €900,000.
He said the mortgage was combined with other borrowings from Bank of Scotland, leaving a total of some €1.1m on which the house was secured.
The court heard yesterday that Bank of Scotland Ireland Ltd had granted Mr Ryan a 34-year mortgage of €1,105,000 to be paid back in monthly instalments of €4,434.
The loan had fallen into arrears now amounting to €281,111 and the total debt outstanding to Tanager was stated to be €1,207,904.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane said that apart from no money having been paid against the mortgage since August 2010, it was not disputed that the mortgage had been taken out against the property in Mount Prospect Avenue. "The last payment to this account was on 4 August 2010," she said.
Tanager, which was represented in court by barrister Rudi Neuman, has a registered office at Clanwilliam Square, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin.
It bought more than 2,000 distressed Irish home loans almost 10 years ago at discount rates from Bank of Scotland.
More than 90pc of the loans it bought from that bank were two years or more in arrears.
Eoin O'Shea BL appeared with solicitor David M Turner for Mr Ryan and Ms Flood, and told Judge Linnane that he had prepared written legal submissions on their behalf which could, before the next hearing, be studied by the court in conjunction with submissions on behalf of Tanager.
Mr Ryan told the Irish Independent he was concerned that if Tanager did not get back all the money it was owed by selling the house, it could continue to pursue him for the remainder.
Mr Ryan used to own restaurants including Town Bar & Grill and South, but was hit financially by the 2008 recession. He currently runs a contract catering business.
Ms Flood, a former host of 'Off The Rails' television series and several RTÉ shows, was to have presented a TV3 documentary series about older mothers, but this was shelved after Virgin Media took over the station.
The former model won the Miss Ireland pageant 26 years ago. She has stated in the past that despite her own career difficulties and those of her husband, their marriage was rock solid.
The repossession proceedings were adjourned to allow consideration of legal submissions on behalf of both parties.