Gerald Kean’s firm did nothing wrong over loans, court told

Solicitor for law firm says ‘mistake’ was made by EBS in relation to Waterford loans

A solicitor in the law firm of Gerald Kean (pictured) has told the High Court the firm made no “mistake” and did nothing wrong in its handling of the redemption of loans made by the EBS to a woman concerning two properties in Waterford

A solicitor in the law firm of Gerald Kean (pictured) has told the High Court the firm made no “mistake” and did nothing wrong in its handling of the redemption of loans made by the EBS to a woman concerning two properties in Waterford

 

A solicitor in Gerald Kean’s law firm has told the High Court the firm made no “mistake” and did nothing wrong in its handling of the redemption of loans made by the Educational Building Society to a woman concerning two properties in Waterford.

The mistake was by EBS in not providing accurate information when asked by Kean’s firm how much was required to pay off the EBS loans related to two properties of Dolores Corcoran so as to release the EBS charge on those, Sharyn Coghlan said. The Kean firm complied with the relevant Law Society practice and the relevant undertaking, she said.

Ms Coghlan, a conveyancing solicitor in the firm who handled the loans redemption, said she and another solicitor in the firm advised Mr Kean on the redemption and none of them did anything wrong. Mr Kean has stood by her at all times, she added.

The firm forwarded loan redemption cheques in June 2008 to EBS in line with redemption figures sent to it by the Society, EBS provided receipts for the cheques and the relevant title deeds were then forwarded to Permanent TSB as part of a refinancing of Ms Corcoran’s loans, she said.

Cross-charges

There was nothing in the redemption information sent by EBS to suggest cross-charges on the properties and nothing to raise any “red flag”.

It was only after the relevant loans were redeemed the firm received a letter from EBS whch related to a third property of Ms Corcoran’s and indicated there was an extension of the EBS security over the other two properties.

She was certain that particular letter from EBS, dated June 18th 2008, was received after the loans were redeemed and the cheques were sent to EBS as part of that redemption process, she said.

She was surprised to get that letter when there was no reference in the other EBS redemption letters to cross-charges.

She had made no mistake in this matter and it was EBS who made the mistake by not informing the firm earlier of cross-charges. It was also incorrect to suggest regard was not paid to the EBS letter or that letters were received and not read.

Mr Kean has no control over the title deeds, has not refused to return them and there was no breach of the relevant solicitor’s undertaking, provided in his capacity as principal of the firm, she said.

The loans were redeemed on foot of information provided by EBS and that complied with the accountable trust undertaking, she said. The firm had been authorised by Ms Corcoran to seek return of the title deeds from EBS as part of the refinancing of her loans.

Call in charges

Ms Corcoran initially sought to refinance the loans related to three properties but loan packs were recieved relating to two of those, she said.

There was no basis for any suggestion by the EBS it is potentially out by €600,000 and it had produced no evidence of any loss, Ms Coghlan also told Richard Kean SC, for Gerald Kean. EBS could still call in charges and guarantees related to those properties, she added.

Ms Coghlan said she had engaged with EBS and Ms Corcoran about the matter and agreed Ms Corcoran told the firm in 2012 she could not rectify the situation and it was a matter for the firm.

She was giving evidence in EBS’s continuing action against Mr Kean alleging he has not adhered to a signed undertaking to return to EBS title documents of two residential properties owned by Ms Corcoran at Portnahully, Carrigeen, and at Hunter’s Way, Williamstown.

The court has heard Ms Corcoran refinanced three of her four EBS loans. EBS claims some €600,000 is outstanding to it under those loans and its security includes a first legal charge over the two properties.

The case continues before Mr Justice Michael Twomey.