Couple have home repossessed after a €500k spending spree
A DUBLIN couple who, according to a judge, once owned six houses and blew more than €500,000 on themselves in a spending spree, have lost their family home.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court yesterday granted Ulster Bank Ireland a possession order against Anthony and Miriam Freeman for their Villa Park Gardens home on Dublin's Navan Road.
Barrister John Donnelly told the court the Freemans borrowed €460,000 from the bank in 2003 and currently the balance on the mortgage stood at €590,000, which included arrears of €190,000. He said the Freemans had not made repayments since July 2013.
illness Anthony Freeman, who was not legally represented, told the court his wife could not attend because of illness and they were disputing the amount being claimed by the bank.
Judge Linnane said yesterday that the Freemans had been given a final opportunity of saving their home and she was satisfied that all bank documents relating to the proceedings were in order and that 44 Villa Park Gardens was the security given against the mortgage.
She made an order for possession against the Freemans and granted them a stay of three months to facilitate their finding alternative accommodation.
Earlier, Mr Donnelly had told the court that the Freemans in this case were repeating issues made in a High Court commercial investment case against Bank of Scotland, all of which had been rejected by Judge McGovern.
Judge McGovern had stated in his judgment that the couple between 1996 and 2006 had bought six houses in Dublin at Huntstown Drive, Huntsdown Wood and Willow Wood, Blanchardstown, and at Ventry Drive and Drumcliffe Drive, Cabra West and Dunsink Green, Finglas.
surplus He said this had been financed by First Active Building Society and later re-mortgaged with Bank of Scotland for €1,406,000.
When the First Active debt had been paid the couple had been left with a surplus in excess of €546,000 which they had spent on themselves over a period of 16 months.
Judge McGovern said the evidence clearly showed that the Freemans had gone on a spending spree with the surplus, both buying expensive cars and at least one holiday in the US, drawing down just under $60,000 (€53,000).
He said Miriam Freeman had been unable to explain why so many substantial cash withdrawals had been made and why the money had not been applied towards their investment property business.
Judge Linnane awarded Ulster Bank its costs in recovering the property.