This doesn’t look good for NAMA, at all, and particularly just a few days after businessman and developer Paddy McKillen launched a High Court action against NAMA alleging breach of privacy and confidentiality.
In a separate case entirely, NAMA is suing Tipperary businessman John Fraher. Today in the High Court, the redoubtable Judge Peter Kelly entered judgment against John for €5,508,983. Sadly for John, there’s nothing exceptional about it, he owes the money and hasn’t paid it, and he has now filed for bankruptcy in the UK with a hearing scheduled for 17th May 2013.
What is exceptional is that John’s affidavit reveals evidence that NAMA is sharing, or at least shared in John’s case, details of loans owing by people connected to John, but also people unconnected to John directly but merely connected to borrowers who are in turn connected to John. Not just that, but NAMA seemingly disclosed not just the par value or nominal value of the loans but the value at which the loans were acquired by the Agency.
John claims the details were given by an employee of NAMA, Padraig Reidy, to John’s financial advisers. In his affidavit, John claims that since these proceedings have started (in January 2013) NAMA has been in touch with John’s financial advisers “asking that they destroy” the loans listing. John appears surprised that he was given a listing of loans which includes “individuals and entities with which [he has] no connection whatsoever and with whom [he has] no joint or several liability to NAMA”.
The co-borrowers include Jack Ronan, the pantomime villain in the Vita Cortex production which saw 50 staff stage sit-ins at the Cork Vita Cortex factory for nearly six months when there was an apparent reneging on a redundancy deal. According to John’s affidavit, John says he believes the loans to a company called “Vita Five” relate to the Vita Cortex business. John is unhappy because the Vita Cortex workers picketed the Poppyfield Retail Park in Clonmel in an apparent attempt to put pressure on Jack Ronan to stump up the reneged-on redundancy payments. John apparently co-owns the Poppyfield property with Jack and says that the picket affected business there, which was no fault of his. John is also unhappy with what he claims was NAMA’s focus on other borrowers in his connection to his sidelining and exclusion.
John claims he offered to settle his own loans to NAMA in July 2012 and claims the offer would have produced a surplus for NAMA – presumably by reference to NAMA’s acquisition values which it bizarrely revealed to John – but says John, “said offer was refused out of hand and without any negotiation as it did not deal with his” co-borrowings.
John complains that at NAMA’s behest, there were two receivership appointments relating to the Poppyfield property; in the first instance NAMA had receivers appointed to tenants and then it had the same receivers appointed to the landlord, which in John’s view results in a conflict of interest.
Turning to his UK bankruptcy, John said he considered an alternative to bankruptcy which the British call an “Individual Voluntary Arrangement” or IVA which is like our personal insolvency scheme and allows a debtor to work with his creditors over a period to maximize the payback to the creditors but John claims that he has been “advised that NAMA would never, and had by then never, engaged constructively with an IVA”
John goes to some lengths in his affidavit to demonstrate that he tried to work constructively with NAMA, pay back his own exclusive loans and considered other options before finally plumbing for UK bankruptcy. He disputes that he owns the “brand new Porsche” which NAMA’s process servers say they found in John’s parking space at his Gerrard’s Cross apartment block.
With respect to his liabilities, John says that NAMA’s delays with dealing with the properties has led to a devaluation, and he is also unhappy that despite being severally liable with his co-borrowers, he claims, NAMA has only pursued him.
The affidavit provides John’s side of the story only of course, and you should bear that in mind when considering the above. NAMA was asked for comment on the affidavit at 7.30pm this evening and at time of writing there has not been any response. On the face of it, this is serious for NAMA because the Agency has seemingly provided details of acquired loans with par and NAMA values, but more seriously it has listed sums due by third parties unconnected to the debtor. The affidavit is here but the attached table is being withheld for the time being until privacy issues are more fully considered.