PTsb compel clients to go for variable rates as fixed rates start at 7.25% (no joke)

We thought a client of ours was joking when they said they were being told that as an existing customer of PTsb on their mortgage that the only fixed rates they were getting offered were more than 7%.

It’s a standard residential loan rolling off a 1 year fixed rate, the ‘existing business rates’ (to you and me that’s ‘the loyal customer rates’) are so awful that we can think of no reason for why anybody would want to borrow from PTsb unless they never want fixed rates or need the cashback offer they have.

As a broker we obviously have to consider our past, present and future relationship with any lender, one way to sour that relationship is to take clients who are on a reasonable product and price and then strip them of choice (which is what a rate of over 7% effectively does) when the initial honeymoon is over.

For that reason we would remind people to consider their lender proposition very carefully and to get independent advice because when you go direct you’ll never get to …

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Independent.ie mention Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were mentioned in the Independent today in a story relating to the Central Bank, it hinged upon the fact that they had a ‘whistleblower’ line for people wanting to report financial wrongdoing and it wasn’t operating correctly which means they couldn’t take a call.

The story quoted us as follows: Compliance officer with Irish Mortgage Brokers Karl Deeter said it was not good enough that the whistleblower phone line was not being answered and emails not getting a response.

“Imagine if you called 999 to report a crime and no one answered. What would you think of our police service?” he said. A Central Bank spokesman claimed the problem had been rectified after the situation was raised with it by the Irish Independent.

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Generation Rent? Try generation Broke

It bothers me when people promote long-term renting as a better choice than home ownership because it belies some basic facts.

When I was studying accounting, I was taught to be accurate. When I was learning about financial advice, I was taught to be prudent. Yet both of these concerns are often cast aside when debating the benefits of buying versus renting.

Nationally we are at an important juncture. It’s acknowledged that huge numbers of people won’t be able to afford to buy a home. If this proves to be true, many will also be locked out of one of life’s most wealth-creating activities.

The first problem is the nature of the comparison. If rent is €1,300 a month and a mortgage costs €1,500, then it’s cheaper to rent, right? Well . . . no it isn’t. The outlay is less, but the actual cost of the provision of occupancy is the rent versus the interest portion of the mortgage, not the entire payment. I will explain that point.

People often say rent is dead money. To be fair, so …

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Newstalk: Karl Deeter on the Pat Kenny show discussing pensions

The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk had us on to talk about the future of pensions and to help people understand some of the looming issues in the retirement space.

It is a complex problem which is affected by everything from home-ownership to central bank interest rates. The main thing to take from it is that everybody who can start a pension, no matter how small, should do so. One of the biggest issues is the fact that people don’t even have one they can contribute to.

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Irish Mortgage Brokers on Today FM

We were asked to speak with Gavin Reilly on TodayFM’s ‘The Last Word’ where he was sitting in for Matt Cooper, to discuss a new piece of proposed legislation.

While we believe that all people are deserved of compassion and respect when it comes to financial difficulties with their family home, that it would be an error to expect the judiciary to somehow step in and make what are effectively family protection and social protection decisions on something that should be viewed via the contract.

Mortgages arrears are also more of a symptom than the inherent disease, the disease is low employment, job loss, a lack of low income housing, social housing and social supports. It would be an error to misdiagnose this and in short, only an academic or a politician could look at this problem and see the solution in the way that this proposed legislation outlines it.

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Newstalk Breakfast interview Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were pleased to be part of an interview by Newstalk featuring Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers and Ross Maguire (SC) of New Beginnings.

The conversation was around the newly published Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) consultation on the Irish Mortgage Market.

Our general view (tl;dr) is that competition alone cannot explain the issues inherent in the Irish mortgage market, that there are many other forces at play.

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The state can’t help you get a write-down (if you need a mortgage)

We had an interesting call today because a prospective client wanted to know about Home Choice Loan which is a state sponsored lender.

Her situation was interesting, she is in the process of negotiating a write-down from Tanager via the servicing agent Lapithus and wanted to know if there was any lender out there that might do the deal.

According to the Home Choice Loan website (and a fair critique is that they have done very little in the way of lending to anybody) they are there for first time buyers but ‘some exceptions may apply’. When queried we were told they wouldn’t consider a case for a refinance away from another lender.

What if that involves a good write-down? Currently no lender is willing to finance a deal like this so only people with access to cash can get the deal done, but in a world of low yields if the state was to consider loans like this and do them at their published rate of 3.25% then the nation could make a return on the money …

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Central Bank whistle-blower line unmanned

We were asked to comment on a finding by Charlie Weston in the Independent about the fact that the private disclosure (or ‘whistle-blower’) lines in the Central Bank don’t work. After the newspaper highlighted this they took action, but we were not impressed that this was only found out through the work of a journalist.

The comment we offered was very clear (below).

Compliance officer with Irish Mortgage Brokers Karl Deeter said it was not good enough that the whistleblower phone line was not being answered and emails not getting a response. “Imagine if you called 999 to report a crime and no-one answered. What would you think of our police service?”

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First experience with ‘Help to Buy’

We are currently undergoing our first experience with a client who wants to use ‘Help to Buy’ and the same issue has arisen at two different banks so we are comfortable that it is probably a teething issue that is live and current.

The problem is that the banks are telling us they need proof the person will qualify for the HTB scheme, but to qualify you have to have a signed contract, no borrower is going to sign a contract unless the bank will advance the loan factoring in the HTB because otherwise they may not be able to complete the loan.

The lenders had forewarned us that there would be problems, but this one seems very basic. They could just make the offer contingent on the person qualifying for the scheme. Otherwise it will mean that people are stuck waiting for the contractors name to show up on what is so far a very short list, and they are also putting the kart before the horse in terms of how it was meant to operate.

For now all …

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First time buyers who don’t buy new homes

First time buyers have been asking ‘what about those of us who are not buying a new home? Why don’t we get any help like the people using help to buy?’. The answer is that you do, at least for the remainder of 2017.

There is still a DIRT relief for first time buyers scheme in action, it started in 2014 and is ongoing until the 31st of December.

The scheme doesn’t help you get a deposit, rather it’s a refund after you buy, see the notes below taken from the Revenue.ie website:

Section 266A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for refunds of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) for first-time buyers who purchase a house or apartment to live in as their home. It also applies to first time buyers who self-build a home to live in.

Who can claim it?

A first-time buyer of a house or apartment who purchases or self-builds a property between 14 October 2014 and 31 December 2017 may be entitled to claim a refund of DIRT.

The first-time buyer must not have …

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