Monday 24 July 2017

US 'Vulture Fund' evicting families will make five-fold profit and pay no Irish tax – Dáil told

Stephen Donnelly
Stephen Donnelly
John Downing

John Downing

An American “vulture fund,” evicting a family of four from their home for mortgage arrears, will make a €400m return on their €80m investment – and also pay almost no tax in Ireland.

Social Democrat TD Stephen Donnelly today told the Dáil that a family of four in Kilkenny, struggling to get back on their feet, could not service the €350,000 mortgage sold to a US firm known as Oaktree Capital and trading in Ireland as Mars Capital.

Mr Donnelly said the firm paid €140,000 for the mortgage and got a 58pc discount for most of the loans they bought. The Kilkenny family’s mortgage was sold to Mars Capital for €140,000 – a mortgage the family could now service.

He said the family and other mortgage holders had been barred from bidding for their own loan.

“It’s very good news for Mars Capital because they believe that for their €80m investment they will get a return of €400m,” Mr Donnelly said.

Mr Donnelly said that Mars Capital structured their affairs to ensure the only amount of income exposed to tax was €1,000.

“An examination of Mars Capital’s accounts is a master class in tax avoidance,” Mr Donnelly told the Dáil.

Mr Donnelly said their interest income was €4,559,904 and their administrative costs were €4,558,904 – a difference of just €1,000.

Replying for the Government Education Minister Richard Bruton said Deputy Donnelly should bring any tax concerns he had to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners.

Mr Bruton said the Revenue had “enhanced powers” given them by Government to deal with these issues.

The Minister said help was available for people in mortgage arrears and they should access this.

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