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'How did this happen?': Court hands Bank of Ireland almost 8 acres of land it has no right to

The Master of the High Court noted the mistake as he received the mortgage papers of a Kerry father-of-five.

Image: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

BANK OF IRELAND was granted an order for possession of land it has no right to when it pursued a father-of-five over his mortgage arrears, TheJournal.ie can reveal.

Yesterday, we revealed the bank recently admitted it has been charging Kerry man Raymond Flavin a higher rate of interest than it should have been for an, as yet, undefined “period of time”.

Flavin fell back on monthly payments after a serious injury in 2013 put him out of work and the bank began its proceedings in 2014 when he was €18,000 in arrears.

Despite its recent admission of error, the bank is still fighting his appeal against a possession order granted last year.

His house is built on eight acres of his father’s land. In the Master’s Court in Dublin earlier this month, it emerged the bank sought an order for two plots – the plot his mortgaged house was built on and the other 7.45 acres which belong to his father and were not included in the 2008 loan documents.

PastedImage-87700 Ray Flavin with one of his sons Source: Family provided

In a sitting on 9 March, Edmund Honohan, Master of the High Court noticed the discrepancy as he reviewed Flavin’s mortgage papers and the possession order.

“The Circuit Court shouldn’t have given an order for possession of the seven and three quarter acres because that’s not part of your house,” he told Flavin, who has been representing himself in court.

He accused the bank’s legal representatives of attempting to take “the whole enchilada”.

“How did that happen?” he asked, adding that he wanted “an explanation as to why they want an order on that”.

Flavin said he had been unaware of the inconsistency between his mortgage documents and the possession order.

His wife Trish died after a heart attack, aged 38, at the start of this year. He is now raising five children – aged 4 to 16 – by himself.

“Good God,” Honohan responded, when Flavin informed him of his loss. When questioned by the High Court Master about how he, a lay litigant with no legal background, proposed to win the case, he replied:

I’ll do whatever I have to do. All my five kids have left is that house.

He was granted additional time to form arguments for his appeal and he will be back in court this month.

Approached for comment by TheJournal.ie, the bank said, “As this is an ongoing legal matter currently before the High Court, Bank of Ireland is precluded from commenting.”

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Regulator at committee

In the Oireachtas Finance Committee yesterday, Central Bank governor Philip Lane again confirmed that some people impacted by erroneous rates had lost their homes.

He noted that there was a “systematic and widespread aspect” to the tracker mortgage scandal.

“It manifested itself in different ways, in different institutions over different periods of time, to different customers.

It does require comprehensive approach; there was a cultural issue that was in favour of the lender and not in favour of the customers.

He also said that lenders should “never have been as aggressive as they were in terms of how they viewed these contracts”.

Some €120 million has been paid out in redress and compensation as a result of the denial of correct tracker rates, he told the committee. Of that, €78 million was in relation to 2,600 accounts identified in a review undertaken ordered at the end of 2015.

If you have been affected by the tracker mortgage scandal, we want to hear your story. Get in touch by sending a message to trackermortgage@thejournal.ie. 

Tracker mortgage scandal: Widower charged wrong interest rate may now lose family home  >

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