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Wednesday 19 December 2018

'They put me in receivership - it left me in the horrors' - Teacher's heartache after vulture fund buys loan

Schoolteacher Tom Poynton speaks as vulture funds ramp up number of debt chase cases tenfold

Tom Poynton at his home in Castlelands, Balbriggan, Co Dublin. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Tom Poynton at his home in Castlelands, Balbriggan, Co Dublin. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Having your loan bought by a vulture fund can be a bruising affair, particularly if it doesn't agree to your proposals for how you want to deal with the debt.

Schoolteacher Tom Poynton (58) has been left so infuriated by the way his debt has been handled by an affiliate of US private equity fund CarVal and its Irish management agents, he has made a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman.

The father-of-two complained about the manner in which he was forced to relinquish control over a shop premises he owned and was leasing out in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

He was about €8,000 in arrears on a loan of €373,000 when the debt was sold by Permanent TSB to CarVal affiliate Cheldon Property Finance in October 2015.

He put the property up for sale during April 2016 in a bid to pay off the loan in full, but did not get the price he was looking for and took it off the market on the advice of an auctioneer.

Mr Poynton claims he was at all times proactive with Cheldon and told its agent, Pepper Asset Servicing, that he intended, on the advice of the auctioneer, to put the premises back on the market in February of this year.


But he was informed on October 12 last this proposal had been declined by Cheldon for commercial reasons. The following day he wrote to Pepper asking for a further review of his proposal.

Due to an administrative oversight, acknowledged by Pepper, he did not receive a response.

On November 24, solicitors instructed by Cheldon issued a formal demand for the full outstanding balance within five days or a receiver would be appointed.

The receiver was appointed on December 5.

Mr Poynton said he was told he failed in an appeal of Cheldon's decision because he ignored recommendations from his relationship manager and an auctioneer.

But he insisted this was totally untrue.

With the appointment of the receiver he lost control of the rent roll for the property, placing him under further financial strain.

Cheldon put the shop premises on the market last March with a guide price of €550,000, but it has failed to attract a buyer to date.

"They put me in receivership and took my rent roll away from me. It has left me in the horrors," said Mr Poynton.


"Their actions have not speeded up the process. All they have served to do is cause heartache and stress, delay the sale, increase the cost to me in the form of additional fees, and put me further in debt by taking away the rental income."

Pepper told the Irish Independent it could not comment on individual cases, but in a letter sent to Mr Poynton it rejected allegations about its management of the loan.

In a statement it said: "Pepper is committed to exhausting all possible options in helping customers resolve their financial difficulties. We always follow the code of conduct and engage with customers in a transparent, constructive and respectful manner."

Irish Independent

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