Bank says it will not pursue Priory Hall debt
Stephanie Meehan’s partner took his own life in July
Stephanie Meehan and her family have bene unable to live in their apartment in Priory Hall for two years. KBC Bank today said it would not pursue Ms Meehan for any balance on her mortgage, depite sending her a letter on August 28th highlighting arrears plus interest due. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
KBC Bank has said it will not pursue Stephanie Meehan for any balance on her mortgage for her apartment in Priory Hall.
Ms Meehan’s partner Fiachra Daly took his own life in July. In a letter to the Taoiseach last week, Ms Meehan said pressure to pay arrears on the apartment – in which they had not been able to live for the past two years – appeared to be a factor in his death.
KBC Bank sent a letter to Ms Meehan on August 28th highlighting arrears plus interest due on the mortgage of the couple’s apartment. Speaking on the Marian Finucane show today, Ms Meehan said the bank informed her that “interest would continue to accrue until the account had been redeemed in full”.
Ms Meehan, who has a mortgage protection policy with Aviva, said she assumed interest on the mortgage would be frozen on the death of her partner and that the outstanding balance would be immediately paid off.
The letter from KBC, however, said Aviva required her partner’s final death certificate to assess her claim and in the meantime, interest would continue to accrue on the account.
In a statement issued late this afternoon however, KBC Bank said it would not be pursuing Ms Meehan or Fiachra Daly’s estate for any outstanding balance on the mortgage. It said it was doing so, “given the specific circumstances of this tragic case”.
KBC said it “deeply regretted if the bank added further to the upset of Ms Meehan and her family following the passing of Fiachra Daly”.
Meanwhile, the Minister for the Environment will not intervene on Priory Hall until he receives a report from the former Supreme Court judge charged with mediation on the issue, his department has said.
Minister Phil Hogan’s department was responding to newspaper reports today that the mediation process, chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Mr Joseph Finnegan, had collapsed. It was reported that Mr Finnegan had ended his involvement in the mediation process a month ago, informing residents and banks that there was no more he could do.
It now appears that Minister Hogan was unaware the mediation process ended in early August. Last week, Mr Hogan indicated the mediation process was ongoing. He said he would only intervene once it had concluded in October.
A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said yesterday that the Minister could not intervene until he received Mr Finnegan’s report.
“We haven’t seen sight of the report,” he said. “As far as I am aware, he(Mr Finnegan) must report back to the Supreme Court by October 15th.”
The spokesman said the mediation process was taking place under the auspices of the court which prevented the department from intervening. “He has to report back to the court. If his report says he can’t take the mediation any further, then we’ll deal with that then when we know that officially.”
“Once we have the final report or the final findings, the Minister will act.”