herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Ex-model given three months to quit €1.9m home

Jennifer Fitzgerald
Jennifer Fitzgerald
13/10/14 Artist and former international model Jennifer Fitzgerald was yesterday (Monday) given three months by a judge to quit her home Xanadu on Sorrento Road, Dalkey, and hand the keys back to a bank.. Picture:Arthur Carron

artist and former international model Jennifer Fitzgerald was yesterday given three months to quit her €1.9m home in Sorrento Road, Dalkey, and hand the keys back to a bank.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard in the Circuit Civil Court that Ms Fitzgerald's former husband Colin Hayes had recently signed an agreement to the bank re-possessing Xanadu.

Barrister Anne Lawlor, counsel for London-based Tanager Limited, which had taken over Bank of Scotland's mortgage book, told the court there was an outstanding debt of €1.8m on the property including €200,000 arrears.

She said nothing had been paid off the mortgage since 2010, and added that Ms Fitzgerald was opposing the bank's application for possession of the house where she still lives.

Judge Linnane rejected as "simply untrue" a sworn claim by Ms Fitzgerald that she had not freely and legally given her consent to the raising of mortgages by her then husband.

She had told the court she had been forced by Mr Hayes "under duress" to sign documents retrospectively agreeing to the 2005 mortgage and to his raising a second mortgage with Bank of Scotland in 2007 for investment purposes with her home as security.

The judge said Ms Fitzgerald's signature to the agreements had been given in the presence of and witnessed by a solicitor.

The court heard the property had been valued in 2005 at €1.9m, and the initial mortgage had been taken out for €1,125,000.

Ms Fitzgerald said the property was originally held jointly by the couple.

intolerable

She said that in September 2005 her husband transferred it into his name. In November 2007 she had come under "intolerable" pressure from him to sign an agreement relating to the loans.

She was dependent on him financially, and he had threatened that she would have no monies if she did not sign.

She was not aware she was consenting to the 2005 loan retrospectively while at the same time agreeing to Xanadu being used as security for investment loans.

Judge Linnane said the bank had shown Ms Fitzgerald's consent had been freely given. She granted the bank possession and awarded costs against Ms Fitzgerald.

hnews@herald.ie

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