NAMA won’t have been caught unawares by Sean Dunne’s bankruptcy application last week, though the specific timing of filing on Good Friday might have raised a wry smile; after all, NAMA has a reasonably intimate knowledge of Sean Dunne’s finances and ultimately, land that was bought for €84m an acre during the Irish boom, and is now worth €7m an acre at best, so unless Sean has hundreds of millions squirreled away someplace – for which there is no evidence whatsoever, incidentally – then the man is unequivocally insolvent. Of course the hunt may still continue to mop up what NAMA might see as loose ends, but Sean filing for bankruptcy was always a clear possibility.
It seems that NAMA and other creditors have up to three months to object to the bankruptcy, and as we saw in the case of David Drumm in neighboring state of Massachusetts that, although he filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, he is still dangling in uncertainty, having upset the bankruptcy trustee and his main creditor, Anglo.
Sean himself has wasted no time in filing a so-called “Motion for Stay By Reason of Bankruptcy”. The latest list of filings in the NAMA case against Sean and his wife Gayle is shown above, and can be accessed here (UPDATE: 3rd April., 2013, the Connecticut court service website is not very reliable, you can access the main court page here and try to search civil cases but that part of the website seems to be frequently unavailable). The copy of the motion is not yet online, but it is likely to say that Sean has filed for bankruptcy and that any claim by NAMA should be dealt with by the bankruptcy trustee.
You will notice that there are frequent filings in the NAMA case against Sean and Gayle, and that reflects the fact that this case – in which NAMA is alleging shenanigans with spousal transfers, allegations denied by the Dunnes – is being fought tooth and nail by both sides, with NAMA every bit as engaged as the Dunnes. There is a hearing scheduled for Thursday this week, 4th April 2013, and we may get further clarity as to how the case is to proceed. Remember, we’re still waiting to find out whether the judge is going to rule if the US courts have jurisdiction over the Swiss apartment transaction.