Some Irish mortgage statistics worth considering

We all know the headline [glossary id=’6898′ slug=’mortgage’ /] arrears figures and that they are a disaster. Take a look at some of the other figures which don’t make it into general reporting (other than when they come out during Oireachtas committees and the like). Something that still isn’t widely known is that huge numbers of arrears cases are not engaged and haven’t filled in the most basic Standard Financial Statement required to get an arrears resolution.

AIB

6,000 mortgages 2.5 to 3 years behind and not engaging 16,000 Standard Financial Statements (SFS) analysed to collate ‘strategic figures’ 50 per cent of arrears cases haven’t yet filled in an SFS, the founding document of resolutions 2,000 re-engagements after legal threats 2,000 arrears cases have money on deposit greater than arrears 1,000 buy-to-let mortgages with nothing paid in last six months or more 4,000 accounts where customer could pay full mortgage from net disposable income allowing for living expenses (insolvency guidelines plus 20 per cent on top) but do not

Ulster Bank

35 per cent of arrears cases either not engaging …

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Lickety split-mortgages: are they really a solution? #splitfail

The calls for ‘more split mortgages’ are commonplace, what is often lacking is a deeper understanding of the flaws inherent. For instance, why was there any outcry at banks charging interest on the warehoused portion? Failure to do so is an effective write-down and cash flow loss.

That isn’t to say banks shouldn’t get both, but don’t dress it up in the flowery language of ‘split mortgages’, instead just say ‘we believe in write downs and cash flow losses’. Take an example where a bank doesn’t charge interest for 25 years on a €100,000 warehoused portion of a mortgage where a total of €300,000 is owed.

Assume a discount rate (we’ll side with ECB being able to do their job [mistake]) of 2%. The present value is = 1/(1+r)^n this is where ‘r’ is the rate and ‘n’ is the compounding periods. The reason for doing this is to give an idea of what the €100,000 would be worth in the future if there was no interest and inflation never went over 2%, the …

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Let’s take the emotion out of strategic default

(this article originally appeared in the Sunday Business Post on the 8th of September 2013) The term ‘strategic default’ lacks a definition. Because of this, any debate that incorporates this term is, in part, pointless. Discussing something so undefined can only end in disagreement if the topic is entirely subjective. There are those who refuse to accept it exists, just as there were those who once refused to believe the world is round. Many continue to insist that, in pretty much all circumstances, borrowers are innocent.

They aren’t, just as the banks are not innocent either. As a day-to-day practitioner, I know that strategic default is real. I have seen it, dealt with it, made money on the back of advising people doing it and continue to do so. People hire guys like me to push back against banks like ours.

Some attempt must be made to determine what does and doesn’t constitute a strategic default. A failure to do so means we face a double dilemma. The first is to turn the national debate into one focused on the …

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2fm with Colm Hayes: Mortgage Defaults

We spoke to Colm Hayes on 2fm about the issue of non-engagement by some borrowers, it is important to stress that this is not the ‘average arrears case’, it’s a cohort within them.

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Ray Darcy Show Today FM on loan defaults with Anton Savage

We discussed mortgage defaults with the Ray Darcy Show which was presented by Anton Savage

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RTE Radio 1: Ireland AM – AIB claims of ‘strategic default’

We were asked to speak on Morning Ireland about AIB’s claim that there are significant numbers of strategic defaulters. While they don’t represent the vast majority of borrowers, they do exist and we tried to put some perspective on this.

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What banking insiders think of what banks are going to do

We got a comment on our site from an ex-banker who heard a radio segment where we were talking about banks and repossessions. We got in touch and asked if we could post his comment as a stand alone entry, he agreed, his thoughts are very interesting and in part might help explain why we have repossession orders without repossessions, eye opening reading…

I listened to your piece on Newstalk this morning (19/08/2013) regarding ‘strategic defaulters’ and I just wanted to congratulate you for highlighting the reality of this issue.

I worked for the former *closed bank* for over 17 years and for a two year period I was it’s Mortgage (Residential) Administration Manager. Although I’m out of banking now I still help former clients with negotiations with various banks.

My experience over the past couple of years, and especially this year, in ‘dealing’ with the banks, foreign and domestic, has exposed some incredibly unethical and unfair practices and on the whole I fear …

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Spin me right round’ – some thoughts on IBF data

In statistics there are two key components, the first is the actual ‘data’ the second is the ‘inference’ or what the data actually means. If you saw that one summer was hotter than the last by collecting daily average temperatures that would have statistical significance, if on the other other hand you saw that July was 56% hotter than January then you’d be stating the obvious and your ‘inference’ would be laughable.

That we can see this when it comes to meteorology is obvious, and almost nobody would take such news as having any significance, but when it happens in finance it can go unchecked although Eamon Quinn at the Wall Street Journal caught the IBF out on their release which is about mortgage lending being ‘56% up this quarter’.

Here’s the actual quote they lead with ‘The latest figures from the IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile, published today, show that the number of new mortgages issued in Q2 2013 has increased by 56.1% on the previous quarter.’ And it …

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More on pseudo-scientific-legalese from Kilkenny

Something that was a strong point of (supposed) fact in the meeting at Kilkenny was that mortgage loans now are not called ‘mortgage loans’ instead they are ‘lines of credit’.

It was also implied that the change of language was very important and meant something.

As a person working in this industry daily that caught me by surprise, thankfully, and unlike other attendees we have the resources to look into this.

See the pdf scan for yourself. The person who said this was telling the truth, at least in part, the ‘credit facility’ thing is mentioned, but elsewhere it’s all about ‘mortgage’ and ‘mortgage loan’, the entire concept is misguided.

If you click on the loan document (click the picture) you’ll see on the first page that it does mention ‘credit facility’ – albeit the scan I did was awful because I had to double black out personal …

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Talking with a strategic defaulter…

That strategic defaulters do or don’t is just a sideshow about quantifying their numbers, for several years we have been dealing with them on the advisory side of our company. Banks have large legal departments and teams chasing borrowers, and in turn the borrowers will from time to time hire their own professionals as a counterweight to the process, what you are about to read isn’t intended as justification, ethical reasoning or anything else, it’s just an insight into the thoughts of a strategic defaulter, why they did it and what has happened so far.

The person in question is a white collar professional and the director of a relatively well known company, she agreed to speak to us on the basis that we kept her identity private. She has a family home and six investment properties.

Karl: Did you make a concious decision to default on your loans? If so why?

Yes, because the bank were insisting I go on interest and capital repayments on the investment properties and the figures just wouldn’t add up so I chose to …

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