Thursday 17 October 2019

Claims vulture funds deal fairly with arrears are misleading 'fairy tales' - advocate

‘Simply false’: Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation chief David Hall is no fan of vulture funds. Picture: Tony Gavin
‘Simply false’: Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation chief David Hall is no fan of vulture funds. Picture: Tony Gavin
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Claims vulture funds engage better with borrowers in arrears than banks are set to be dismissed as "fairy tales".

Advocate for those in mortgage arrears David Hall is set to tell the Oireachtas Finance Committee the funds that have bought up thousands of distressed mortgages refuse to do deals with homeowners.

He claims the Central Bank and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe were engaged in "misleading commentary" when they stated recently there was no evidence that firms acting on behalf of vulture funds were not engaging with borrowers in arrears.

Mr Hall is set to defend draft laws giving mortgage holders a veto on their loans being sold to vulture funds, the 'No Consent, No Sale' bill promoted by Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty.

The bill is necessary, Mr Hall maintains, as vulture funds do not do deals with homeowners in mortgage trouble. And they won't restructure loans in arrears.

He is to provide TDs and senators with emails from vulture funds turning down offers from his iCare Housing charities to buy properties off them where the homeowners can't meet mortgage repayments.

The mortgages were to be rented back to the families.

Offers to purchase the homes with discounts of between 8pc and 12pc of the market value were refused.

Mr Hall claims this is despite the vultures buying the loans on the distressed properties for discounts of between 50pc and 60pc of the market value of the properties.

He disputed comments from the Central Bank and Mr Donohoe that there is "no material difference" in the level of home repossessions between vulture funds and normal banks.

The minister said existing loan terms are being honoured when handled by vulture funds or credit-servicing firms acting on their behalf, and people whose "circumstances have not changed" are not being moved from their existing loan arrangements.

Mr Hall will tell the committee it is misleading and untrue to say vultures are good to deal with.

"This is simply false and there is a serious question of competency around those making these vulture-friendly comments," he said.

Mr Hall said a study of the behaviour of vultures carried out by the Central Bank was completed before large-scale of non-performing loan sales by Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank, rendering its conclusions questionable.

The 'No Consent, No Sale' bill is needed to as there will be an avalanche of sales to vultures, he will say.

Irish Independent

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