Accountant must give €2m home to lender

An accountant has been told by a judge to hand his €2m family home at Brighton Road, Rathgar, Dublin, back to the ICS Building Society.

Barrister John Donnelly told the Circuit Civil Court there was an outstanding balance of €2,090,000 on Ken Phelan’s mortgage, and arrears had reached €300,000 on Feb 1 last.

Mr Phelan told the circuit court president, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, that he had been unable to meet agreed repayments of €12,000 a month. This had been due to HSE support for a nursing homes development he was involved in having been put on hold.

He said he had made a once-off repayment of €100,000 in May 2010 but had been unable to make any further payments since.

Mr Donnelly said that on Dec 14, 2010, the building society had obtained an order for possession in the Circuit Civil Court from Judge Joseph Mathews, who had granted Mr Phelan a stay of six months on the order.

Mr Phelan had returned to court in July 2011 saying he was involved in a new business which would assist him in discharging his arrears. He had obtained a further six-month stay from Judge Mathews.

Just before Christmas last year he had returned to the circuit court before Mr Justice Deery, who had granted him a further six months’ stay on the basis he would have a new money source which would enable him to make repayments of €12,000 a month.

Mr Donnelly said that since having obtained the first stay on the possession order in Dec 2010, Mr Phelan had not made any repayments and the building society was asking for the stay to be lifted. He said there was little constructive use for a continuing stay.

He told Mr Justice Deery that Mr Phelan had arrived in court with two cheques, one post-dated, totalling €20,000. Even if they were honoured, they would make a very small dent in the principal debt.

Mr Phelan, who was not legally represented, said he had become involved in the development of a number of nursing homes but financial aid for such schemes had been put on hold by the HSE.

Mr Justice Deery said he would lift the stay on the court’s possession order in favour of the building society. Mr Phelan had not made any payments since Dec 2010.

“I appreciate you are in financial difficulties and it is a stressful time for you and many people in the same situation,” the judge said.

“It is a family home and your children live there but you have not put forward any sustainable grounds for believing the money is going to be forthcoming.”


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