Signing over prompts concern

 

BANK OF Ireland has expressed “significant concern” that a developer being pursued by it for €8.9 million over unpaid loans has transferred some 13 properties to his wife.

James Doherty, for BoI, raised its concern over the transfers when seeking yesterday to admit to the Commercial Court proceedings against Patrick Murphy, Falcon Hill, Lovers Walk, Cork, in which the bank is seeking summary judgment orders for some €8.89 million.

Counsel for Mr Murphy said he needed time to take full instructions, but his side believed there was a bona fide defence to the claim arising from the nature of the loan transaction.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he would deal with the summary judgment application next week when the basis for the defence would have to be outlined.

Mr Doherty said summary judgment was being sought in relation to loan facilities advanced in July 2008 to refinance and restructure borrowings of Mr Murphy with Bank of Scotland Ireland and BoI.

Counsel said the defendant made interest payments up to April 2009. Efforts to contact him between February and June 2009 met with no response. A manager with BoI met Mr Murphy on the street in June 2009, who said he had been ill and asked that all communications be directed to a mortgage broker acting on his behalf.

The bank notified Mr Murphy in February 2010 that an event of default had occurred and demanded repayment of the outstanding monies within 10 days. No repayment was made.

In March 2010, Mr Murphy informed a bank manager he had transferred some of his properties to his wife and intended to deal with the BoI loan liability on a pro rata basis with his other outstanding liabilities.

Mr Doherty said the transfer of 13 properties to Gillian Murphy – between February and June 2009 – was of significant concern to the bank, given the debt owed to it.