Banks seeking to recover millions

MANY of the country’s banks and financial institutions are applying to the Commercial Court on a weekly basis in a bid to recover multi-million euro loans most of which relate to building and commercial developments.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday dealt with separate applications by ACC Bank, Bank of Ireland and Educational Building Society aimed at recovering loans amounting to more than €20 million.

In one case, the judge ordered a construction company, which is in receivership, and its directors, to repay to ACC Bank loans of €9.5m relating to developments in Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim.

Such summary judgment applications by financial institutions are reflective of a pattern over several months now and have coincided with large numbers of applications, again mostly related to building developments, where parties are seeking orders requiring others to honour contracts entered into before the credit crisis emerged.

However, while the judge has to date made many orders for summary judgment and specific performance, it is apparent in many cases there is little prospect of recovering the monies due. In a number of cases, defendants have turned up themselves to tell the court they cannot afford lawyers and are unable to pay their debts.

Among the new cases dealt with yesterday was an application by ACC Bank against Leatime Construction Ltd (in receivership), with registered offices at Drumlish, Co Longford, and its directors Philip Mullins, Drumure, Longford, and Larry Keogh, Cattan, Mohill, Co Leitrim.

The bank sought orders for repayment of loans made in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to the company and guaranteed by both directors.

A solicitor for the defendants said they were not defending the matter and not objecting to judgment being entered against them although they did dispute the total amount of €9.5m being claimed.

Mr Justice Kelly said he would enter judgment in the amount sought and also awarded costs of the bank.

In another case, the judge entered judgment in favour of ACC for an amount of €4.43m against Cormac MacCarthaigh, Wooden House, Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford, arising from personal guarantees given by him over loans made by ACC in 2005 to Tymonville Ltd, with registered offices at Wooden House, Kilmore Quay.

The loans related to the purchase and redevelopment of the Wooden House pub and 12 apartments.

A third case transferred to the court and adjourned to May next involves an application by Bank of Ireland for orders requiring Stephen Harris, Chapel Wood, Stradbally, Co Galway, and Bernard McKeon, Stradbally, Clarinbridge, Co Galway, to repay sums allegedly due on foot of loans made to them for the financing of 14 two-bed apartments at Ballymote Road, Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.

The bank claims a total of €2.89m is owed by Mr Harris on foot of that loan. ACC claims Mr McKeon owes €1.4m.


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