Frank Sheahan Sr wrote to the bank last month saying he was disappointed none of the family’s repayment proposals were accepted, asked for further talks and argued there would be “no winners” in litigation.
He said his sons have no salary or regular income, “deserve a second chance”, and should not be forced into bankruptcy which would have “devastating effects” on them and their families, and was not in the interest of the country or the bank.
Bank of Ireland said it had considered Mr Sheahan’s request, but believed it was not appropriate to defer the legal action.
The case was transferred to the Commercial Court yesterday by Mr Justice Peter Kelly, who made directions for exchange of legal documents between the sides.
The bank’s move comes after what it said was a failure to reach a “mutually acceptable solution” following lengthy talks between it and the Sheahans over repayment of outstanding sums on loans advanced by Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank to buy residential properties for rental purposes.
The bank last year appointed Michael McAteer, of Grant Thornton, as receiver to 17 residential properties of the Sheahans in Cork and Greystones, Co Wicklow.
In separate High Court proceedings yet to be heard, Frankie and Joey Sheahan contend the receiver’s appointment is invalid and that certain alleged actions of his, including changing locks on properties, may damage their business.
That action, by the brothers and mymortgages.ie, of which Frankie Sheahan is a director, is against Bank of Ireland, Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank, and Mr McAteer.
BoI Mortgage Bank is seeking payment of about €2.97m from Frank Sheahan Sr, Uplands House, Shanakiel, Cork, over alleged guarantees and indemnities allegedly executed by him over loans to his sons made on dates from 2005. It demanded payment of that sum on Jan 13 last, but it remains unpaid.
The bank is also seeking, if necessary, orders rectifying a mistake on the guarantees related to the fact the account numbers to which the guarantees relate was not written into the documents.