Business Irish

Sunday 24 September 2017

Pensions back Hall mortgage scheme

Under the plan, eligible borrowers who cannot pay their mortgage would stay in their home as renters. Stock image
Under the plan, eligible borrowers who cannot pay their mortgage would stay in their home as renters. Stock image

Gretchen Friemann

David Hall's advocacy group for distressed mortgage holders has persuaded two UK pension funds to back its efforts to acquire private homes for people eligible for social housing, as well as purchase impaired loans from banks, in a move aimed at easing the distress caused by the State's debt and housing crisis.

Under the plan, eligible borrowers who cannot pay their mortgage would stay in their home as renters.

Hall, the head of the Irish Mortgage Holders' Organisation, said a new "product" designed to take over thousands of toxic mortgages from Irish lenders will be unveiled "within weeks".

While the initiative has been in gestation for years, and has attracted much publicity, Hall said the project's first phase is likely to centre on the acquisition of homes - not loan portfolios.

He claimed "multiple parties" had pledged financial support, including two large pension funds in the UK, along with Irish banks and non-bank lenders. Money would also flow from the Housing Finance Agency, Hall said, in what he described as a "unique" public private venture.

Hall added the soon-to-be launched "product" was aimed at all the banks operating in Ireland, although he declined to provide details on how the new undertaking will be structured.

But he said the negotations for the "social-purpose vehicle" had reached their final stages and stressed time was of the essence in helping the "massive amounts of people" affected by the debt and housing crisis.

The IMHO was recently linked to a deal that could see thousands of distressed borrowers' mortgages moved off AIB's balance sheet .

Hall declined to comment on that plan, if it comes to fruition it will follow almost a decade of campaigning by the IMHO founder.

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