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Nov. 28, 2016, 2:36 p.m.
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circuit civil court couple house ebs bank judge

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A couple who have lost their home had made unfounded allegations of undue influence and misrepresentation against their EBS Bank, a judge said in the Circuit Civil Court.
Directing John Stone and his wife, Ciara Whelan, to hand back the keys of a house in Greenwood Court, Ayrfield, Dublin 13 within three months, Judge Jacqueline Linnane on Monday said she was amazed that such allegations had been made.
The judge said the allegations had been made in a bald statement to the court with nothing to back them up.
Padraig O’Martin, of O’Connor Solicitors, for EBS, said the allegations against the bank were baseless. The couple had not paid one euro off their mortgage since 2010.
Mr O’Martin said the total amount now owed by Mr Stone and Ms Whelan stood at €486,991, including arrears of €219,000. The value of their house in May last had been estimated at €320,000.
He said the bank had loaned the couple €190,000 in July 2003, a mortgage that had been topped up by €100,000 in October 2007 and by another €100,000 in March 2008. The last payment had been in July 2010.
Judge Linnane said the proceedings first came before the County Registrar in July 2014, giving the defendants 2½ years to face up to the situation. They had failed to do so, and the debt had continued to mount.
She said that, at that time, there had been no dispute when the bank called in the debt, nor about no repayments having been made since 2010. The couple had no defence to the application before the court.
The judge said the court was dealing with very high figures in relation to the application for repossession of the property, against which there was absolutely no defence.
The judge granted EBS possession together with their legal costs and granted the couple three months in which to put their affairs in order and find somewhere to live.
In an affidavit, Mr Stone said he had been severely injured “in a horrific accident” in 2008, and that this had led to his failure to make regular repayments.