Sunday 23 November 2014

Half of mortgages put up by IBRC liquidators unsold

Published 14/04/2014 | 02:30

Sarah McCabe

HALF of all the residential mortgages put up for sale by the liquidators of IBRC have not been sold, it has emerged.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has confirmed that a total of 6,500 home loans were not sold as part of a deal to offload IBRC mortgages first issued by Irish Nationwide Building Society to two US investment funds.

It was already known that Texas-based Lone Star and LA-headquartered Oaktree bought two-thirds of this group of mortgages (codenamed Project Sand) in terms of the notional value of the loans – a batch worth around €1.2bn, at par value, out of a total portfolio of €1.8bn. It was widely assumed that the unsold portion involved a relatively small number of mortgages.

But the unsold portion actually included some 6,500 home loans, half the total pool by volume, Mr Noonan said in response to a question by Fianna Fail finance spokesperson Michael McGrath.

The vast majority of these unsold mortgages are primary dwellings; just 300 involve buy-to-let mortgages, he said.

They are mostly performing, it is understood, and owed by older borrowers with limited time left in their repayment schedules.

They will now be transferred to NAMA, the Finance Minister said, at an independent valuation price, though he added that no final decision had been made. Debt collection outsourcing company Pepper has already been selected to service the mortgages. It has also been hired by Lone Star to do the same job for the home loans Lone Star bought.

LOANS

Mr Noonan added that NAMA would uphold the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears for the residential mortgages.

"NAMA will apply best practice in this regard including CCMA to ensure that a borrower's legal position does not deteriorate by virtue of NAMA acquisition of the loan or loans concerned," he said.

Oaktree and Lone Star have already promised that they will voluntarily uphold the CCMA for the portion of the mortgages they bought.

Mr Noonan also confirmed that a small but substantial portion of home loans controlled by IBRC had been paid off in full by borrowers in the last year.

Since the Government rushed through emergency legislation to liquidate IBRC, some 600 homeowners had redeemed their mortgages in full, the minister confirmed.

Irish Independent

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