Thursday 18 January 2018

Home owners could yet get chance to stick it to banks

The debt deals reached last week are significant for a number of reasons

EXIT: Fiona Muldoon is the latest senior Central Bank official to announce her departure
EXIT: Fiona Muldoon is the latest senior Central Bank official to announce her departure

James Fitzsimons

WELL done to New Beginnings who brokered the first personal insolvency deal last week. It doesn't relate to mortgage debt, but it is significant nonetheless and in many ways it may be more important than we think. First of all, it secured a substantial writedown of the debts involved. Second, it shows that a personal insolvency practitioner can make a difference. Most of all, the banks can't have it all their own way.

According to the latest statistics from the Central Bank on mortgage arrears and repossessions, the banks have exceeded their targets to offer deals to those in trouble, up to the end of September. Not all the offers stood up to scrutiny, but even when the bad ones are stripped away, the banks still met their targets.

PIPs had not been engaged by the end of September, so none of the solutions up to then involved personal insolvency protection. Some 45 per cent of the solutions modified the original mortgage arrangements. But the majority (55 per cent) of restructures involved voluntary surrender and repossessions.

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