Bank seeks €18.5m from widow of developer

BANK of Scotland has been granted repossession of three properties in its bid to recover over €18.5 million in debt from a woman.

The High Court heard yesterday that the women’s husband had died and the lender was seeking possession of the family’s properties and lands in Co Wexford.

Some €15.6 million had been borrowed by the deceased man in a bid to buy and develop properties prior to his death in 2007.

The bank told Judge Elizabeth Dunne that the family estate was now insolvent.

The bank was granted possession of lands outside New Ross, a property in the town, as well as other premises including a shop.

The bank agreed to postpone a hearing on a fourth property, including lands which the husband had promised would be held in the family name.

Neither the widow nor her children appeared in court for the hearing.

Eight possession orders were granted to lenders yesterday from a total of 75 cases listed for hearing.

In another case, a man on social welfare had his home in Dundalk, Co Louth, repossessed by lender Stepstone Mortgages.

The court heard how the borrower was surviving on €193 a week on jobseekers allowance but was facing arrears of €21,000 on his mortgage.

The last payment made on the €190,000 mortgage was in November 2008, Judge Dunne was told.

Furthermore, the borrower was now not able to repay an agreed €100 a week to try and pay off some of the outstanding loan.

The lender had originally agreed to lend the man the loan with monthly repayments of €1,578 a month with a mortgage interest rate of 9.6% perannum.

The social welfare recipient now owed €210,000. Judge Dunne said the case appeared to be a “hopeless situation”.

A further case heard how a businessman who had fallen sick was fighting to retain possession of two residential premises outside Naas, Co Kildare, from lender Bank of Scotland.

The borrower had taken out loans totalling €930,000, in part to pay off other lenders.

But after becoming ill, the man had fallen behind in payments and was now facing interest payments alone of €4,000 a month.

Despite plans to sell off and rent properties in Co Kildare, Judge Dunne noted that his loan had now risen to over €1m.

“Things are at a very critical stage,” she said, agreeing to adjourn the repossession case to give the borrower more time to pay off the debt.

“Time was running out”, she added, and it was in the man’s best interests to try and sell off some properties to pay the bank and “get on with life”.


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