Man fails to stop bank over arrears

A man who rejects claims he has fallen into arrears on two loans he took out with KBC Bank has failed to secure a High Court injunction preventing the lender from continuing with legal action against him.
Man fails to stop bank over arrears

The injunction was sought by John Breen, against who the bank has brought proceedings seeking a repossession order of his home.

He claimed in 2012 he sent a cheque for €100 with a note to KBC telling them that if they accepted this amount of money per week the bank was agreeing to a variation or change in the repayment conditions of the loans.

Since 2012, he has been making repayments of €100 per week towards the loans.

KBC rejected Mr Breen’s claims that it had accepted the variation and said he is in arrears totalling €258,000 in respect of both loans.

The court heard that Mr Breen, of West End, Knocknagree, Mallow, Co Cork, who denies he is arrears, took out a commercial loan for €800,000 in 2006 and a home loan in 2008 for €150,000 with KBC.

While KBC has repossession proceedings in respect of the family home pending before the Circuit Court, there are no proceedings being brought against him by KBC in respect of the commercial loan.

A receiver had been appointed over properties charged against the commercial loan but was subsequently discharged.

Representing himself in the High Court, Mr Breen brought proceedings seeking orders including an injunction halting KBC’s action in the Circuit Court against him pending the full hearing of his dispute with the bank.

He said KBC had agreed to the variation of the loan repayment conditions. He said he had never missed a payment to KBC over the last four and a half years.

The bank, he said, was now “trying to oppress” him and was “acting illegally.” It was trying to “roll me over” and was causing him distress.

Keith Rooney, counsel for KBC, said the bank rejected Mr Breen’s claim. The €100 per week has been accepted as part payment of a debt owed to it by Mr Breen.

Mr Breen had to pay approximately €4,600 per month on the commercial loan and €650 pr month on the home loan, counsel said.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Gilligan said Mr Breen had failed to make out an arguable case. From the evidence before the court, the judge said he was satisfied that the payments did not “wipe out” the loan debt.

The judge also found that if Mr Breen was ultimately successful in his action, damages would be an adequate remedy

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