Representing himself at the High Court, Gerard Herron, Dungannon, denied responsibility for the mortgage account and claimed the bank did not have a legal claim to the property.
In a report in the Belfast Telegraph, Herron allegedly took out a 10-year interest-only mortgage with Halifax in 2007. The balance was £320,000. Herron defaulted on the mortgage in 2011 and made no further payments after August 2014. The outstanding balance of his mortgage now stands at £433,000 secured against a property estimated to be worth £286,000.
Madam Justice McBride ruled that Herron had lived effectively rent free for three years in a property which was now in negative equity.
Herron claimed Bank of Scotland (BoS) did not have any legal entitlement to the property because he took the mortgage out with Halifax, and therefore BoS was not a party to the mortgage deed. However, a re-organisation of HBOS banking group had seen Halifax business moved to BoS.
Herron also alleged that there was a lack of supporting evidence for his repossession case and would not confirm or deny whether the signature on the mortgage deed was his.
The judge ruled that it was his signature and the debt had been transferred to BoS. The original possession order was given the court’s support. Herron indicated he may mount a further appeal.
Bank of Scotland could not be reached for comment.