House sale can’t wait until the price is right
A bank has won a High Court order for nearly £400,000 from the owners of an unsold coastal guesthouse.
Mr Justice Gillen ruled in favour of the AIB Group in a case it brought over a bridging loan arranged with the late James Aiken and his wife Mary.
He said the bank could not be expected to wait for an economic upturn before exercising its|rights.
Mr and Mrs Aiken had owned and operated a nine-bedroom guesthouse at May Road, Carnlough, Co Antrim.
In 2006 they decided to retire, sell the property for at least £750,000 and buy a bungalow on the market at £260,000.
A £350,000 bridging loan was arranged with the First Trust Bank with the guesthouse as security.
Although the facility was to be repaid by January 2008 the sum remains outstanding.
Mr Aiken had alleged the bank told him to offer the house for “a ridiculously low price of £275,000”.
Mr Justice Gillen said the bank’s case was unanswerable.
He said there was no rule preventing a sale by the bank of property which it has taken for security at a time of the bank's choosing.