Businesswoman, 71, fighting to avoid eviction from £3m Scottish castle

Businesswoman, 71, fighting to avoid eviction from £3m Scottish castle after 25-year battle over £230 debt loses bid to take her case to Supreme Court

  • Marian van Overwaele fought attempts to evict her from Knockderry Castle
  • Made bankrupt in 2000 after refusing to pay bill for bridalwear business from 1997
  • The debt rose to £30,000 and a trustee was appointed to take over assets 
  • Judge at Court of Session ruled last July to allow bankruptcy trustee to evict family and take control of castle 
  • Now, the 71-year-old has been denied permission to appeal ruling to Supreme Court in London 
  • A businesswoman fighting to avoid being evicted from her £3 million Scottish castle after a 25-year battle over a £230 debt has lost a bid to take her case to the Supreme Court. 

    Marian van Overwaele, 71, has fought two decades of attempts to have her removed from Knockderry Castle, in Cove, Argyll, so that it can be sold to pay off her creditors after she was made bankrupt in 2000.

    She was declared bankrupt after repeatedly refusing to pay a bill related to a bridalwear business she ran in 1997 and the debt rose to £30,000, with a trustee  appointed to take control over her assets.    

    After her bankruptcy, ownership of the castle was then transferred from Mrs van Overwaele into her brother George Amil’s name in 2000. She stayed at the castle with him and his family.

    Judges at the Court of Session upheld an earlier decision last July to allow the bankruptcy trustee, George Lafferty, to evict the family and take control of the castle.   They ruled against Mrs van Overwaele and her brother because they did not attend court and gave no proper excuse. 

    However, she made a bid to stop her eviction from the mansion on the banks of Loch Long. After another hearing at the Court of Session, Mrs van Overwaele has now been denied permission to appeal the ruling at the Supreme Court in London.

    Marian van Overwaele, 71, (pictured) has fought two decades of attempts to have her removed from Knockderry Castle, in Cove, Argyll, so that it can be sold to pay off her creditors after she was made bankrupt in 2000

    Marian van Overwaele, 71, (pictured) has fought two decades of attempts to have her removed from Knockderry Castle, in Cove, Argyll, so that it can be sold to pay off her creditors after she was made bankrupt in 2000

    Sheriff officers and police arrived to evict Mrs van Overwaele in September 2010 after costs related to her bankruptcy hit £160,000.  

    But the divorcee appealed the eviction notice and she was given more time to pay.  

    Speaking previously about the case, she said: ‘The original bill had nothing to do with me in the first place.

    ‘This house now belongs to my brother and my family have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds lovingly restoring it.

    ‘This is my home but I am very worried that the house will be taken.

    ‘I am 45 years in Scotland now, my life is here. It has affected me very badly and I don’t want to cry – I have cried enough.

    ‘Sometimes I wake during the night and pray, ‘Please let this be a dream, or a nightmare and not a true story.’  

    Court of Session ruled last July to let bankruptcy trustee take over castle and evict the family. After another hearing at the Court of Session, Mrs van Overwaele has now been denied permission to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court in London. Pictured: Knockderry Castle

    Court of Session ruled last July to let bankruptcy trustee take over castle and evict the family. After another hearing at the Court of Session, Mrs van Overwaele has now been denied permission to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court in London. Pictured: Knockderry Castle 

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