Bank of Scotland Ireland pursues two men for €1.2m

TWO businessmen are being pursued by Bank of Scotland Ireland for judgment orders of €1.2 million arising from personal guarantees allegedly provided by them over loans to a company.

BOSI has brought proceedings against Frank Ennis, with addresses at Rock Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin, and Milltown Hall, St Anne’s, Dublin 6, and against Brian Palmer, Willow Lodge, Brennanstown Road, Cabinteely, over their alleged June 2008 guarantees of the debts of a company, The Doughmaster, up to a maximum €2m.

The bank alleges the company defaulted on some repayments of a loan of about €1.99m advanced to it under a facility letter of April 2008, amended in June 2008, for the fitting out of eight retail units for use by the company.

It claims some €1.2m remains due from the company, which is in voluntary liquidation. A demand for full repayment was issued to the company last May and, after repayment was not made, the bank moved on foot of the guarantees.

The case against Mr Palmer was transferred to the Commercial Court yesterday by Mr Justice Peter Kelly, who adjourned the application against Mr Ennis so issues related to service of the proceedings on him may be addressed.

The judge was told five attempts to date to serve Mr Ennis with the proceedings had been unsuccessful.

Mr Palmer had opposed transfer and has also claimed the bank had agreed to release him from the guarantee. Mr Palmer claims he terminated his relationship with the company in August 2009. He claims the bank induced him to sell his interest in the company to Mr Ennis by assuring him they would not rely on his personal guarantee.

He claims the bank was advising him about his finances and advised him to take what he could get as that would have the effect of reducing his exposure to the bank.

When he approached the bank in March 2009, it had charges against all his properties except his family home, he said.

At that time, his portfolio, excluding his family home, had a value of some €10m but his liability to the bank in relation to the portfolio was €14m, he said.

He also claims it was only last October he learned of the bank’s proceedings seeking to enforce the guarantee against himself and Mr Ennis.

Mr Justice Kelly said there was no culpable delay by the bank such as would prevent its case against Mr Palmer being admitted to the Commercial Court and he would transfer it. He also fixed the application for summary judgment against Mr Palmer for December 10.

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