CARD-payments tycoon John Nagle and his wife Joan are battling to save their family home and a stunning €5m designer house on Killiney Hill in south Dublin.
The Irish Independent has learned that Mr Nagle, the entrepreneur and former chief executive of Payzone, is being sued by Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank over a €5m home loan that has fallen into arrears.
As well as the family home, a second property, Paddock Wood on Dublin's exclusive Killiney Hill Road, is also under threat as the couple attempt to sell it to pay off their debts.
The house, which is set on 1.3 acres of land, is located in one of the most exclusive parts of the wealthy suburb, on a sloping site which gives it views across the scenic Killiney bay.
It is round the corner from Vico Road, one of the most expensive addresses in the country, in an area well known for its celebrity residents.
The modern, three-storey home, which was completed in 2007, features 'frameless glazing' windows and a staircase leading to an infinity pool.
Bank Of Ireland Mortgage Bank, trading as BOI Mortgages, gave the couple a €5m mortgage in 2006, secured on the family home at Falmore, Falls Road, Shankill, Co Dublin.
The monthly repayments on the 26-year loan were almost €17,000 a month for the first five years, rising to almost €30,000 for the remainder of the term.
BOI Mortgages, which has threatened to repossess the house, is also seeking to have a judgment of more than €5m entered against the couple in a bid to recover the value of the home loan.
This could have implications for the thousands of homeowners seeking protection under the revised Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) if lenders try to recover the value of mortgages in default by getting personal judgments against borrowers, instead of seeking repossession of homes.
Under Irish mortgage law, a bank has a right to -- but is not obliged to -- repossess the home on which a loan is secured.
Legal experts say the decision to seek a personal judgment instead of -- or as well as -- repossession could allow lenders to bypass the Government's code on mortgage arrears. That code forces banks to wait for up to a year before they take legal action against borrowers in arrears.
But the protection afforded to homeowners could be avoided if banks sue for the value of the home loan, instead of repossession.
This could lead to wealthy people in arrears on their mortgages being targeted by banks who believe that they have other assets that can be tapped, including cash, shares and pensions, that could be used to repay their mortgages.
Earlier this week, High Court Master Ed Honohan adjourned the proceedings against the Nagles until November to allow legal submissions to be filed.
Mr Nagle and his family had been living at Paddock Wood in Killiney but it is understood that they have since moved back to their former family home in Shankill. Mr Nagle, the chief executive of ZAPA technology, was not present at either property yesterday.
Anglo Irish Bank granted a mortgage to the Nagles on the Paddock Wood home. But the Nagles offered -- according to court filings -- to give BOI Mortgage Bank a second mortgage over the exclusive home, allowing BOI to be paid out of the proceeds of the sale of the house if Anglo's mortgage is paid off in full. BOI also sought proof that the couple were attempting to market and sell Paddock Wood.
The legal action follows extensive negotiations between BOI and Mr Nagle who had put a series of repayment proposals to the bank.