Nama in court to stop sale of holiday homes

 

A HIGH Court judge has made orders preventing the auction of 22 holiday homes in the west of Ireland from going ahead after lawyers for Nama claimed the sale would result in a loss for the taxpayer.

Nama sought an injunction preventing the auction, due to go ahead today, of a property at Ballyvaughan in Co Clare against Art of Fitness Ltd, Monkstown, Co Dublin, which supplies gym equipment.

Art of Fitness previously secured a judgment of €19,000, as well as a charging order and an order for sale against the registered owners of the holiday home development, Megcourt Developments Ltd, in Clare Circuit Court.

Nama claimed that while the €19,000 had been paid, Art of Fitness’s solicitors JP Foley and Company intended to sell the property in order to discharge their legal costs of €122,000.

Nama argued that the defendant had no right to sell the property. It said the costs being claimed were “excessive”.

Art of Fitness’s solicitors rejected Nama’s claims, arguing they were entitled, on foot of the orders it obtained in the Circuit Court, to sell the property.

At the High Court yesterday Nama company National Asset Loan Management Ltd sought an injunction, pending the final outcome of the case, preventing the defendant from selling the properties.

In his ruling Mr Justice George Birmingham granted an order preventing the auction from going ahead.

The judge said that he was doing this on the basis that an undertaking had been given by Nama that the defendant’s solicitors’ legal costs would be paid after they had been taxed and ascertained.

Following his ruling the judge then adjourned the matter generally.

Seeking the injunction, Nama said that earlier this year it had acquired the mortgage on the property from AIB, and said that it was now owed €5.7 million by Megcourt.

Nama’s charge over the property took priority over the defendant’s claim, its lawyers said.

Should the sale proceed Nama said that the property would be “seriously undervalued”, resulting “in a significant loss to the taxpayer”.

In reply, solicitor Paul Foley said Nama’s application was “disingenuous and not well grounded in fact or law”.

He did not accept Nama’s contention that he was not entitled to sell the property in order to cover the legal costs incurred both before and after the Circuit Court judgment.