Thursday 22 February 2018

Schoolteacher and estranged husband settle action against bank

Ray Managh

A schoolteacher and her estranged husband today settled an action against a bank in which they had sought a court order allowing them sell their home, once worth €525,000, for €150,000.

Caroline and Robert Carass had asked the Circuit Civil Court to force Irish Life and Permanent Plc (Permanent TSB) to allow the sale so they could reduce their current mortgage debt from €484,000.

The bank had objected to the sale.

Ms Carass had told Judge Jacqueline Linnane she and her husband had almost doubled the initial mortgage on the house and they had given her dad €240,000 for a building site he had never transferred into their name.

She said that although some of the €240,000 had been directed by herself and Robert towards setting up a company that failed within a year, her father had never repaid them the money.

The couple claimed that under the 2009 Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act the court could direct the bank to vacate its right under the mortgage to hold on to the former family home at 90 HuntersWalk, Ballycullen, Dublin 24, as the only asset against the loan.

Their counsel, John Ferry, said they had an offer, until today, of €150,000 from a buyer and they wanted to reduce their mortgage by that amount.

Ms Carass said she and Robert, now separated, had bought the house with a mortgage for €255,000 in 2003. In December 2006 they decided to remortgage for €470,000 when the house was valued at €525,000.

They were making interest only payments of €1,200 a month and had paid her father, Tony, €240,000 for a site for which they hoped to get planning permission and for which they had never obtained title from her father.

She and Robert, with her father, had decided to set up a company which was unsuccessful and had been dissolved by her father following a disagreement with Robert.

Ms Carass said she and her husband split up and she and her little daughter were now living with her brother and parents in rented accommodation in Trim, Co Meath.

She and her husband were unable to meet the mortgage repayments and had asked the bank to allow them to sell the house. The bank had refused on the grounds it valued the house at €170,000.

After brief talks today Mr Ferry told the court that the case could be struck out with no further order.

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