In Personal Matters, Trust & Estates

The High Court decision of Muintir Skibbereen Credit Union Ltd v Crowley & Anor [2015] was upheld this month in an appeal taken by Muintir Skibbereen Credit Union.

In the action before the High Court the credit union sought the sale of the family homes owned by Cornelius Crowley and Brendan Hamilton which were jointly held with their spouses. Mr. Crowley and Mr. Hamilton were unable to repay loans owed to the Credit Union which were obtained to finance property developments.  The credit union obtained Judgments against the Defendants and later obtained Judgment Mortgages over their family homes.

The High Court refused the credit union’s case for the following reasons:

a)      Both properties were the family home of the respective Defendants

b)      The spouses were never consulted about the loans in question

c)      The spouses never signed any documents providing the family home as security

d)     Personal circumstances of the Defendants and their spouses were taken into account (young children and ill health)

e)      Both Defendants were in serious debt and 50% of the net proceeds of any sale due to the spouses would not be enough to purchase another family home.

This decision has been upheld by the Court of Appeal. Judge Gerard Hogan, giving the unanimous judgment, held that the credit union’s rights as judgment mortgagee could not prevail against two innocent parties, Mrs. Crowley and Mrs. Hamilton. Judge Hogan confirmed that the homes could not be sold as the spouses were not parties to the relevant loans and never formally consented to them.

This is a significant decision outlining some of the factors that the Courts will take into account when deciding if a family home should be sold under the new Land Law and Conveyancing Act 2009.

The decision of the High Court can be read here:

The decision of the Court of Appeal can be read here:

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Surrogacy Reform Ireland Builidng Families Through Surrogacy