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Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 13:26 GMT
Debt forces DeLorean out of mansion

The gull-wing sports car John DeLorean built near Belfast The gull-wing sports car John DeLorean built near Belfast


The former American car maker John DeLorean has lost a five-year bankruptcy court battle in the US to hold onto his mansion and estate.

The courts in the state of New Jersey ordered the sale in an effort to pay off DeLorean's creditors who are believed to be owed around 20m.

DeLorean, whose sports car company at Dunmurry near Belfast collapsed in 1982, was ordered off the estate by 31 March.

He was instructed to sell off the 434-acre estate in Bedminster for $15m to a golf course developer.

Merril Lynch Credit Corporation, the largest of DeLorean's creditors, won the title to the house and estate in March last year.

National Fairways now plans to turn the estate into a golf course.

John DeLorean: declared bankrupt John DeLorean: declared bankrupt
DeLorean, 75, had hoped to get $30m from the estate's sale to pay off his remaining creditors and build a golf resort and equestrian centre on the property.

A lawyer for Merill Lynch said DeLorean had effectively been a "squatter" since the court order last year.

Proceeds from the sale will go directly to DeLorean's creditors.

DeLorean's car company collapsed aimid charges of money laundering in 1982 after several million pounds worth of British government and foreign investment.
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