|Ireland: Nama Insists to Go Through Courts to Get Tansferred Assets|
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The National Asset Management Agency has insisted it will pursue developers who attempted to put assets beyond the scope of the agency by transferring them to family members.
In a statement of Dec.21, Nama said it would go through the courts if developers did not consensually return the assets within a set time.
“Nama is acutely sensitive to the risk that developers have tried – or will try – to transfer assets from their own names to spouses or other family members in order to remove them from the scope of Nama,” it said. “The agency is pursuing developers to bring such assets back.”
The statement follows a Prime Time Investigates programme on RTÉ, which highlighted cases where assets may have been transferred to spouses or family members.
“Nama can confirm that in some instances where this was undertaken, it is not going to be effective to shelter them as the same persons who the assets are transferred to are also borrowers in their own names,” the agency said.
It said it had already been successful in three cases where a total of €130 million of such transfers were reversed.
In 2010, Nama approved foreclosure action against 22 borrowers.
Minister for Social Protection Éamon Ó Cuív claimed developers and bankers who move assets offshore or transfer them to their family members are not acting in a patriotic or ethical way.
Mr. Ó Cuív, who this month announced significant cuts in social welfare payments, said there needed to be a debate about “people’s sense of duty” and the nature of society following the excesses of the Celtic Tiger era.
“There are many things that are legal but they are not in my view very ethical, very desirable or very patriotic,” he told The Irish Times in an interview.
“I think there are serious questions to be answered. Lots of people made a lot of money through the Celtic Tiger era in what appears to me to be a very reckless fashion. This seems to have permeated wide sections of the developer community and the banking community,” he said.
He said some of these individuals had engaged in bad practices, which were “totally reprehensible”, and they should be pursued by law enforcement agencies.
But he warned it wasn’t the Government’s job to pursue these people and it must stay at arm’s length from any investigations.
“Any country in the world which has law enforcement in the hands of the Government is coming to dictatorship and this is not satisfactory,” he said.
Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey told reporters that developers involved with the National Asset Management Agency who were transferring large quantities of property to their spouses would not “get away with it”.
Mr. Carey said: “Certainly they can try but they are not going to get away with it. A lot of those transfers, as you probably saw, took place before Nama was set up and in recent times Nama has managed to reverse some of the intentions of some of those developers.”
The opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Published on our website on Dec23, 2010