Thursday 22 March 2018

Six Permanent TSB tracker mortgage holders win compensation of up to €25k

Permanent TSB
Permanent TSB

THE High Court has approved an arrangement concerning the payment of compensation to several bankrupts in respect of tracker mortgages they had held with Permanent TSB.

The arrangement, which was approved at the High Court by Ms Justice Caroline Costello, will see amounts of up to €25,000 paid by the lender to some six individuals previously adjudicated as bankrupts by the court.

The amounts to be paid out are to be split with 70 percent  going to the bankrupts with the remaining 30 per cent going to the official administering their estates the official assignee, Chris Lehane.

Mr Lehane's office will distribute the 30 per cent share to the bankrupts' creditors. 

The arrangement was brought about following negotiations involving parties including PTSB, Mr Lehane, as well as solicitors, the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, and New Beginning groups on behalf of the bankrupts.

The application comes in the wake of Permanent TSB's admission last year it had wrongly moved customers on tracker loans to more expensive mortgages.

The admission followed an investigation conducted by the Central Bank which ordered the bank to put in place a redress scheme.

The bank said it would compensate clients, return them to trackers and refund them under a scheme called PTSB's Mortgage Redress Programme. About 1,400 property owners were affected.

Seeking court approval of the arrangement, Edward Farrelly Bl for the official assignee, said the awards were for how its failure contributed to the financial difficulties endured to its customers.

Counsel said largest amount is to be paid to a couple, who are to receive €25,000 each, who had lost their home.

Some €12,500 is to be paid to another person in respect of a buy to let property he owned was lost and repossessed, counsel said.

Smaller amounts, of between €3,400 and €6,500 are to be paid to three other persons who did not lose their properties, counsel continued.  PTSB had consented to the arrangement counsel said.

Counsel said that Mr Lehane believed that this arrangement, when factors including the amounts involved and the costs of any potential litigation were taken into account, was the best for all concerned.

Mr Lehane said in a sworn statement he accepted the 30 per cent on grounds including it was arguable in law that the amounts paid to the bankrupts by PTSB could fall outside the bankruptcy estate.

In each of the cases PTSB was the primary creditor, he also said.

Mr Lehane said while he had regard for other creditors it would also seem fundamentally unfair and harsh that the full amount paid out should be withheld from the bankrupts.

Ms Justice Costello said she was "happy to approve" the arrangement.

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