ACCBank secures €4m order over loans


ACCBANK has secured a €4 million summary judgment order against a creche operator over unpaid loans.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly entered the order yesterday against Carol Macken, Carrickbrack Lawn, Sutton, Dublin, arising from loans advanced in 2004, 2005 and 2007. Due to a dispute over a claim for interest of some €170,000, he stood over that aspect of the matter to a later date.

In its claim, ACC said Ms Macken operated a creche business at a number of premises in Dublin and Meath and was a director, company secretary and shareholder of Cosy Tots Co Ltd, with registered offices at Carrickbrack Lawn, Sutton.

The bank said it extended loan facilities to Ms Macken between 2004 and 2007 on a joint and several basis with Ms Macken’s then business partner Yvonne Bowers, Strand Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin. ACC said it believed the parties’ business relationship ended in about April 2008.

Since about June 2009, no repayments were made by Ms Macken in respect of any of the loan facilities set out in the proceedings, the bank said. Before that, payments were made by Ms Macken and Ms Bowers on an increasingly intermittent basis.

From July 2009, it had sent both parties letters reminding them they were jointly and severally liable for the loan facilities.

ACC said it held a large number of meetings with Ms Macken and her husband Cyril between June 2009 and February last in an effort to reach a solution about how the debts would be paid. It also arranged for a review by Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton of the defendant’s business and investment properties held jointly with Ms Bowers.

ACC claimed Mr McAteer reported in October 2009 that sufficient cashflow was being generated from the creche businesses and properties to pay the debts. However, issues later arose about repayment and ACC sent demand letters in December 2009.

In January 2010, Mr McAteer was appointed receiver and manager of six properties provided by Ms Macken and Ms Bowers as security for the loan facilities.

Further discussions between the bank and Ms Macken and her husband did not lead to a resolution, ACC said. It said Mr Macken told the bank on February 25th last that all properties should be sold but failed to advance any proposals in relation to Ms Macken making repayments on the debts.

In relation to Ms Bowers, ACC said she reached an interim arrangement with it and had sought, “at least until recently”, to engage with it in “a constructive and responsible way”. ACC said it was legally entitled to pursue either party over the money owed.