Court orders Independent TD to repay over €19m debt

Independent TD Mick Wallace has been ordered to repay ACC Bank €19,166,680 for personally guaranteed loan facilities made between 2004 and 2008 for his development company, M & J Wallace Ltd, which is in receivership.  As the RTÉ report notes

The order for summary judgment means the bank can now take steps to recover the money.

The court was told the money relates to five loans granted to Mr Wallace’s company, M & J Wallace, which is in receivership.

The loans were personally guaranteed by Mr Wallace.

Lawyers for ACC Bank said there had been a good constructive working relationship between the bank and Mr Wallace and his company until late 2010.

At that stage the bank commissioned a report into the financial standing of the company.

The bank said it decided to change strategy as the company had significant revenue and trade debts.

The Irish Times report adds

Declan Taite of FGS was appointed by ACC last May to a range of Wallace’s assets, including the Italian Quarter on Ormond Quay, the Behan Square apartment complex on Russell Street near Croke Park and development land in Rathgar. The bank had fixed charges on those assets.

Mr Wallace has previously said he owed €40 million to various banks. These are understood to include Ulster Bank, AIB and Bank of Scotland Ireland, as well as ACC.

If Mr Wallace is unable to repay the money, he could be declared bankrupt which would mean he has to resign his Dáil seat.

Speaking after the ruling, Mr Wallace said he accepted the ruling of the court. “I’m not in a very good position but I accept the judgment of the court. I borrowed the money, I can’t pay it back so that’s my problem,” he said.

“As a public representative, I’ve a large responsibility to uphold the law of the land and that’s what I’m doing… I’ve no idea what may happen next.”

In May, as an Irish Times report then noted

Mr Wallace said he didn’t expect to be made bankrupt because there would be “no merit” in any of the banks doing so. “It would cost them money to do so,” he added.

In a statement this evening from the Independent TD, reported by breakingnews.ie, he sounds less certain of that.

“…I do have serious reservations regarding the manner in which some banks are operating.

“While I have accepted full responsibility today for my company’s debt to ACC/Rabobank, I do believe that serious discussions must take place in relation to the lenders’ responsibility to their customers.

“Facilities repayable on demand are unrealistic. Though facility letters commonly state the right of the bank to do this, it was never anticipated that a bank would demand and expect full repayment overnight. Regulation needs to be put in place to ensure that the terms of every loan are realistic and that they reflect reasonableness.

“My company is clearly in a difficult place, owing money to subcontractors, the Revenue, and the banks. I sincerely regret this. We will continue to do our utmost to meet repayments and maximise the return to our creditors.”

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  • slappymcgroundout

    Pete, he doesn’t have it nearly so bad as this soul:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1011/1224305578683.html

  • I think it was around the time the “Queen Mother” died owing a few million that someone said.
    If you owe a Bank £100 ……you are in trouble.
    If you owe a Bank £1million…….the Bank is in trouble.

    Im intrigued by the ethical dilmemna that a TD who can legislate in respect of tax laws etc can actually owe so much money to the Revenue Commissioners.
    It seems wrong when presumably action would be taken against somebody who had been overpaid £50 in benefits thru no fault of their own.

    Of course, back in the good old days of the Celtic Tiger, many tax dodgers, including TDs coughed up and were issued with certificates and stuff.
    The thing is that some TDs can do almost anything and get a good press. Others arent so lucky.

  • Nordie Northsider

    If he is declared bankrupt he loses his seat, as far as I can make out. Another by-election?

  • sherdy

    When will the courts order the banks to cough up what they owe the country?

  • john

    How did the papers not get a hold of this before the election and what nerve to stand in the election with all that debt considering the economic climate in Ireland. What a state the Republic has become owe millions and nothing happens but try and save your trees in your garden and you get dumped in jail!

  • jthree