Brothers lose €650,000 home to vulture fund amid nearly €1m debt
David and Mark Darcy made only two mortgage payments in 10 years, court hears
David Darcy pictured at the Four Courts on Tuesday. Photograph: Collins Courts
Two brothers, one of whom is blind, on Tuesday lost the €650,000 home they bought together in 2009 after debt on their joint mortgage spiralled to just under €1 million.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane, granting so-called vulture fund Promontoria (Oyster) Dac a possession order against David and Mark Darcy in the Circuit Civil Court, said the brothers had made only two mortgage payments, totalling €1,600, in the 10 years since they had bought the property.
The judge told barrister Eoghan Keane, counsel for Promontoria, that she would award legal costs against both brothers after Mr Keane had stressed the need for a costs order following a highly contested application by the fund to recover the property, 83A Foxfield Grove, Raheny, Dublin.
Mr Keane, who appeared with Dylan Byrne of HJ Ward Solicitors, said the brothers had opposed Promontoria’s application for a possession order since the case had come to court almost four years ago.
Ms Justice Linnane said the brothers now owed €991,000 on their mortgage, including €351,479 of arrears on repayments, and stated that they had effectively lived rent-free in the property since 2009. “Someone who is renting and paying only two month’s rent in 10 years would not be allowed to remain there,” she said.
The court heard that David Darcy was still living with his family in the property. David’s wife Joy, mother of their two children, had been made a co-defendant in the case, but the costs order was not applied to her.
Ms Justice Linnane granted the couple, and Mark Darcy, a stay on her order until March 1st, 2020, to allow the couple time to put their affairs in order and acquire alternative accommodation. Róisín Burnside, counsel for the brothers, said Mark had in recent years become blind and was now living with his parents at a separate property.
She said David Darcy had become unemployed following the financial collapse in 2009 but had been working for the past year. She said he had twice asked Promontoria to accept settlement agreements but these had been refused. Solicitor Peter Connolly, who appeared in Tuesday’s proceedings for Joy Darcy, was refused an adjournment to read himself into the case and make further applications on her behalf.
Ms Burnside, who appeared with FH O’Reilly solicitors, said David Darcy had found himself in a quagmire of debt and asked the court to allow him remain in his home while recent personal insolvency considerations were progressed.
When Ms Justice Linnane granted the possession order, Ms Burnside said David Darcy was in penury and asked the court not to make a punitive costs order against him. Ms Justice Linnane said the defendants had added to costs by contesting the application, as they were entitled to do, and did so while not making a single repayment since 2011.