Ex-minister Damien English forced to surrender Florida rental property after mortgage default

Ex-Fine Gael junior minister Damien English was forced to surrender a Florida investment property after he defaulted on his mortgage repayments.

Meanwhile it can also be revealed that the mortgage on English’s former Navan, county Meath constituency office was sold to a vulture fund.

The Meath West TD resigned as junior enterprise minister last month after The Ditch reported he lied about his property interests on a 2008 planning permission application.

Records obtained by The Ditch show ex-landlord Damien English bought a condo in Osceola, Florida in July 2007 for $280,000 (€265,000). According to his Dáil register of interests he received rental income from the property until 2011.

English defaulted on the property’s $210,000 (€199,000) mortgage. In June 2011 he was forced to surrender the condo to avoid any liability for the outstanding repayments, according to records from the Osceola County Property Appraiser.

In 2006, just a year before buying the Florida investment property, English acquired a new constituency office on Watergate Street, Navan. He funded the purchase with an Irish Nationwide Building Society mortgage, according to Land Registry records.

The mortgage was sold to vulture fund Shoreline Residential in 2014. English continued to run his constituency operations from the office until at least 2017.

In 2018 the two-storey unit was sold at a distressed property auction and has since been converted into residential accommodation.

English still owns two homes, one vacant, despite defaulting on mortgage repayments for both.

English declined to comment.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors