US court to hear Seán Dunne’s bid to dismiss bankruptcy case

‘Status hearing’ ordered on motion to dismiss bankruptcy case

A US court will consider last week’s surprise application by property developer Seán Dunne to withdraw his American bankruptcy case at a hearing today.

Connecticut bankruptcy judge Alan Shiff was due to hear the status of attempts by the National Asset Management Agency, one of Mr Dunne's biggest creditors in his €700 million US bankruptcy case, to obtain financial information from the Co Carlow-born developer at a hearing today.

Yesterday, the judge postponed that hearing where there was a possibility that a discovery neutral or independent third party would be appointed to mediate in the handover of financial records in the case.

The court has instead ordered a "status hearing" on the motion to dismiss his bankruptcy case submitted by Mr Dunne last week.

The judge has also delayed the hearing of objections by Mr Dunne's wife, Gayle Killilea Dunne, against Nama's pursuit of information about her finances.

The developer, who was also adjudicated a bankrupt in the Irish courts last year, told the Connecticut bankruptcy court that he cannot afford to defend Nama’s objection to a discharge from his debts.

Similar challenge

Mr Dunne told the court in a filing through his lawyer that even if he was successfully discharged from bankruptcy in the US, there was no guarantee that he wouldn’t face a similar challenge to his discharge in his Irish bankruptcy case.

Nama began a legal challenge in July 2013 seeking to block Mr Dunne’s discharge from debts of close to $1 billion, claiming that he fraudulently transferred assets to his wife.

In a separate filing on Monday, Ms Killilea Dunne applied to the US court seeking an order stopping Nama questioning US law firm D'Agostino, Levine, Landesman & Lederman about the purchase of property in New York in which she is an investor.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is The Irish Times’s Public Affairs Editor and former Washington correspondent