Start Mortgages and Deloitte receivers accused of disgraceful behaviour

Farmer claims he is being frustrated in property sale by receivers who should never have been appointed

Agents for receivers appointed months after Start Mortgages was told the apartment was being sold changed the locks, the court was told.

Agents for receivers appointed months after Start Mortgages was told the apartment was being sold changed the locks, the court was told.

 

The attitude of Start Mortgages and receivers appointed by it over an apartment towards proceedings brought against them by the apartment owner has been criticised before the High Court.

Hugh O’Flaherty, for David Allen, told the court on Friday that Start and receivers Ken Fennell and James Anderson of Deloitte had behaved “disgracefully” after his client brought proceedings claiming the company had no entitlement to appoint receivers over the property.

Mr Allen has claimed the receivers were wrongfully appointed over an apartment owned by him at Atlantic Coast Apartments, in Tramore, Co Waterford. He sought orders against the defendants, including restraining the receivers from interfering with, entering on, trespassing or attending at the apartment

The matter has been before the court on a number of previous occasions and returned before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds on Friday.

Mr O’Flaherty said his client, a 70 year old farmer from Johnville, Rathdangan, Co Kildare, bought the apartment in 2000 after he borrowed some €125,000 from Irish Life & Permanent.

That loan was eventually acquired by Start and Mr Allen had found Start’s attitude towards him after it acquired the loan aggressive, counsel said.

Last year, Mr Allen told them he was seeking to sell the property in order to redeem a sum of just over €82,000 due on the loan. He obtained a buyer who would more than cover what was due on the property.

After the receivers were appointed last December, their agents entered the apartment and changed the locks – actions which had put that sale at risk, counsel said.

He said the receivers were appointed despite the fact the loan was performing. It is claimed the appointment was “aggressive” and defied logic, given they had been informed months earlier of Mr Allen’s intention to sell the apartment.

Counsel told the judge, that since the parties had entered into settlement talks, the keys of the property had not been furnished to Mr Allen, allowing him to complete the transaction.

While proceedings over the receivers’ appointment were first raised with the defendants last December, their only response was a letter sent late last month, he said. When the matter was last before the court, counsel said, the defendants had sought to have the matter adjourned but they had failed to attend Friday’s remote hearing.

Ms Justice Reynolds, noting counsel’s remarks, adjourned the case for a period to allow representatives of the defendants attend the remote hearing. When the matter resumed later on Friday a solicitor for the defendants told the court talks between the parties had been ongoing and all that remained between them was the issues of the costs of the proceedings.

In reply to the judge, the solicitor said the keys of the property would be provided to Mr Allen. The judge said, if that was not done immediately, the case should return before her first thing on Monday morning. Adjourning the balance of the case for one further week, she said the “dragging of heels” was not helping.