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Repossession order solicitor claims signature was forged

AN order for repossession was granted in the High Court yesterday against a solicitor who claimed her signature was forged on a mortgage loan agreement.

The repossession order related to a debt and an apartment in Grand Canal Quay in Dublin.

The loan amounted to €1.8m.

The solicitor, whose name appeared on the loan documents, claimed yesterday she was a victim of fraud, and her signature had been forged to secure the loan.

She had reported the matter to the gardai.

Counsel for Ulster Bank Ireland Limited told Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne yesterday that it had had previously secured a judgment for the loan, which was drawn down in 2007.

Just one repayment of €14,646 was made against the loan in August 2009, and no other repayment had been made since.

The court heard the solicitor had argued at the time of the hearing that she had been acting as a conduit for her father, who was the true borrower of the loan.

The solicitor claimed in a sworn document yesterday that the granting of a repossession order would have detrimental consequences for her and would be viewed adversely by the Law Society.

She said that she wished to have her name removed from the register in the land registry.

When counsel for the defendant was asked why she had only decided to bring the alleged forgery to light now, he replied his client had made the decision to come forward following a "period of soul searching" on her part.

Granting the repossession order, the judge said that she could not understand why the solicitor was defending the application for a repossession order if she had no involvement with the property.

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Seven separate orders for repossession were granted yesterday, including for a property in Dundalk, Co Louth, where the arrears had grown from €30,000 to €91,961 on a loan of €360,000 drawn down in April 2008.

Stepstone Mortgage Funding was owed a balance of €464,327.

Granting the order, the judge said she was a very concerned that documents submitted to her suggested that the situation was getting worse and worse as each month went by, creating a "very bleak picture".

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