The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) in Ireland, “the bad bank”, will take legal action again property developers who have transferred assets, mainly properties, into their spouses names to prevent them from being seized.
Following a investigation by “Primetime”, the RTE (Irish broadcaster) show, into the developers assets NAMA released a statement on Tuesday. They said they will pursue the developers to bring such assets, including luxury private homes, large tracts of land and rental properties, under control.
The statement said “If they don't do it consensually within a specified time period, NAMA will pursue them in court."
Ireland’s “bad bank”, NAMA, was created to take over risky commercial property loans. Three developers had voluntarily reversed their asset transfers resulting in NAMA acquiring €130 million.
The documentary, “Primetime”, which was aired on RTE, on Monday night, showed the developers enjoying opulent lifestyles, including Cork developer, Michael O’Flynn taking a helicopter to a horse race. They also investigated the 29 properties which were transferred by Gerry Gannon into his wife’s name in the last year.
This is despite the Irish Government’s pledge to pursue them “to the ends of the earth” until their debts were repaid.
During the Celtic Tiger Irish banks lent these property developers tens of billions of euros. The property market’s collapse has now left taxpayers footing the bill.
Joan Bruton was interviewed during the documentary. She said that those developers who has signed over their assets would no doubt be ensuring their relationships with their spouses remained on good terms.
She said “It's probably in the developers' vested interest to maintain as harmonious a relationship with their spouses post the transfer as is possible, I think their lawyers would advise them the same as well.”