Vulture funds swoop with big increase in debt judgments as Irish 'endgame' comes into sight
Vulture funds have significantly ramped up action against debtors in recent weeks, new data reveals.
Judgments amounting to €32.7m were registered in one eight-day period alone at the end of September by Irish-based affiliates of major funds CarVal, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
Market observers believe the flurry of debt enforcement activity is a sign many of the funds are reaching their "endgame" in Ireland and are planning to move on.
Internationally, vulture funds typically operate on a five-year cycle after buying distressed debt portfolios, meaning borrowers do not get an extended period of time to pay back the loans.
According to data compiled by debt analysis experts StubbsGazette, 21 judgments were registered against individual debtors last month by vulture funds, compared to only six in the rest of the year.
Altogether, judgments amounting to €74.4m have been registered by the main vulture funds operating in Ireland this year - more than five times the amount registered in all of 2017.
The registering of a judgment allows a fund to take steps to pursue the borrower's assets to clear or partially clear the debt. This can include getting a judgment mortgage. This is where a creditor registers a charge against a property owned by a debtor.
When the property is sold, the proceeds have to go towards paying off the debt.