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Archive for May 18th, 2010

Possibly reflecting the fact that Ireland has about 25 formal residential property repossession orders per quarter plus about 75 abandonments of property which then come back to the banks, it is significant that the Irish Times today reports on proceedings in three repossession cases – one residential and two commercial. The judge at the High Court, Mr Justice Daniel O’Keeffe notably ruled that repossession notices can be affixed to properties which have been abandoned, vacated or where the mortgagees are uncontactable. The residential mortgage company is reported to be Stepstone Mortgages (a joint venture between IIB Bank and international bank Lehman Brothers) who advanced a loan of €240,000 in 2008 at an annual interest rate of 8.15%, now 9%. Stepstone also claimed that it had obtained judgements in several other unrelated cases but was unable to serve them and it was in reply to that circumstance that the judge ruled that orders can be affixed to property where the mortgagees are uncontactable. As reported here recently Ireland has about 500 residential repossessions per year – Nevada, a state with 2.7m souls, has approximately 180,000. Will reporting on repossessions become commonplace in future?

Elsewhere, the Irish Examiner reports on what it describes as the largest market casualty to date in Cork, Frinailla, the Conway family-controlled group. It is unclear from the report what property Ulster Bank, the lender to Frinailla, is seeking control of, though it is reported to have been worth €100m. The report also makes reference to the  Fleming Group’s receivership with debts of €2bn.

UPDATE: 18 May 2010, The Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahearne, was reported by RTE as having dismissed any plans for debt forgiveness for citizens, a “NAMA for the little people”. He is reported to have said that debt was money owed to somebody, and it was not for the Government to pass laws saying the debt was not there anymore

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