Court allows bank to sell couple’s home despite no charge on husband’s stake

A bank can sell a married couple’s home in North Dublin, although there is no charge on the husband’s 50% stake in the property, the High Court has ruled.

Judge Garrett Simons said it was ‘just and fair’ to allow Allied Irish Banks PLC to sell the house, which was not the couple’s family home.

The lender, represented by attorney Keith Rooney, could then recover half of the net proceeds from the sale to claim its debt to Kellie Greene, otherwise known as Kellie Byrne.

The remaining 50% of the net proceeds from the sale of the house located on Hamlet Avenue, Chieftain’s Way, Balbriggan, will be paid to co-owner Kenneth Greene.

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The judge said his order authorizing the sale “appears unlikely” to render the couple homeless, as the property is not their family home. None of the defendants participated in the court hearings.

The court found that Ms Greene’s interest in the property was indeed burdened with a debt to AIB of €413,000 plus interest. This stemmed from defaults on commercial loan facilities granted to him personally in 2004 and 2006 to purchase the Hamlet Avenue house and to restructure his debt.

Ms Greene had been an employee of the bank, therefore qualified for certain loans at preferential rates, the judge noted. A formal request for reimbursement was made in 2014.

Judge Simons previously ruled that Mr Greene’s interest in the property was not subject to encumbrance due to the provision of written security for his wife’s debt.

The bank had argued that it was implicit in the documentation that Mr. Greene’s interest in the property was charged, but the judge found that argument to be unfounded. He said there was nothing in the records to indicate that was the case, and the bank’s own affidavit confirmed that the loan facilities had only been given to Ms Greene.

Judge Simons ruled that the collateral was not secured by granting an equitable mortgage on his share of the property.

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However, the man knew that his wife had given security over the property and that he had provided security.

The judge said the bank was entitled to enforce its security against Ms Greene’s interest in the property, while Mr Greene will be protected by receiving half of the net proceeds from the sale.

He made various orders, including one under Section 31 of the Land Law Reform and Transfers Act 2009, authorizing the sale of the property.

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