Well, with an €185m judgment owing to NAMA and €164m owing to non-NAMA banks, and with receivers appointed to most of his former property in Ireland, there won’t be much debate over whether the former Baron of Ballsbridge, Sean Dunne is in fact insolvent. According to the US court system PACER, Sean filed for bankruptcy yesterday under the US chapter 7 code (the most common code for bankrupts, and contrasts with Chapter 13 where the debtor seeks an extended arrangement with creditors)
Last month, Ulster Bank made moves in Dublin’s High Court to have Sean declared bankrupt in Ireland where he would face 3-12 years before he would be discharged. Instead, it seems, he has opted for a [CORRECTION] 120-150 day bankruptcy, in the state of Connecticut in the US, which means he will be discharged by end of August 2013 at latest, unless his creditors object to the bankruptcy. Though, as we have seen in the case of David Drumm who filed for bankruptcy in neighbouring state of Massachusetts in October 2010, that US bankruptcy can be drawn out if creditors object to the process or to disclosures in the process. And in the case of Sean, Ulster Bank may claim that Sean’s centre of main interest is in Ireland, rather than the US.
NAMA’s case against Sean and his wife, Gayle, currently being slugged out in the Connecticut Superior Court may need to be re-evaluated by NAMA. NAMA has previously stated that it is neutral on where one of its developers pursues bankruptcy, but plainly in this case, there may be grounds for taking a position.
Sean is represented in his bankruptcy case by a new attorney named James Berman from Zeis Law, a Connecticut specialist in bankruptcy. Zeis Law says “James Berman has been named the Best Lawyers’ 2013 Stamford Litigation – Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year” A bankruptcy trustee has been temporarily appointed and their name is Richard Coan. There are no documents filed on PACER yet, but it is hoped that they can be brought to you imminently.