The attitude of Start Mortgages and the receivers it has appointed on an apartment vis-à-vis the proceedings brought against them by the owner of the apartment has been criticized in the High Court.
Hugh O’Flaherty, on behalf of David Allen, told the court on Friday that Start and Deloitte’s receivers Ken Fennell and James Anderson behaved “in a shameful manner” after his client initiated proceedings claiming the company no had no right to appoint receivers on the property.
Mr Allen claimed that the receivers were wrongly named on an apartment he owned at Atlantic Coast Apartments in Tramore, County Waterford. He sought orders against the defendants, including prohibiting the receivers from interfering with, entering, entering or visiting the apartment.
The case has been taken to court several times and referred to Judge Leonie Reynolds on Friday.
Mr O’Flaherty said his client, a 70-year-old farmer from Johnville, Rathdangan, Co Kildare, purchased the apartment in 2000 after borrowing some € 125,000 from Irish Life & Permanent.
This loan was eventually acquired by Start and Mr. Allen found Start’s attitude towards him after acquiring the loan aggressive, the attorney said.
Last year Mr. Allen told them he was looking to sell the property in order to buy back just over € 82,000 owed on the loan. He got a buyer who would cover more than what was owed on the property.
After the receivers were appointed last December, their agents entered the apartment and changed the locks – actions that put the sale in jeopardy, the lawyer said.
He said the receivers were appointed despite the loan being performing. It is claimed that the appointment was “aggressive” and defied logic, given that they had been informed months earlier of Mr. Allen’s intention to sell the apartment.
The attorney told the judge that since the parties began settlement talks, the keys to the property had not been provided to Mr. Allen, allowing him to complete the transaction.
While proceedings over the appointment of receivers were first raised with the defendants last December, their only response was a letter sent late last month, he said. The last time the case went to court, the lawyer said, the defendants asked for the case to be adjourned, but they did not attend Friday’s remote hearing.
Madam Justice Reynolds, noting the attorney’s remarks, adjourned the case for a period to allow defendants’ representatives to attend the hearing remotely. When the case resumed later on Friday, an attorney for the defendants told the court that talks between the parties were ongoing and all that remained between them was the matter of court costs.
In response to the judge, the lawyer said the keys to the property would be provided to Mr. Allen. The judge said if this is not done immediately, the case will have to come back before its first thing on Monday morning. Adjourning the rest of the case for another week, she said the “heel train” was not helping.