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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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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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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ICS to be sold and currently ceasing mortgage offerings.

We have just found out that the EC have approved Bank of Ireland in keeping New Ireland assurance but that ICS must be sold and they are to stop accepting [glossary id=’6898′ slug=’mortgage’ /] applications with immediate effect.

We don’t actually know what this means at present, we have not been informed of how they will deal with pipeline applications, applications that are on the system and approved but not offered, or that are awaiting approval.

We have been told that it will be ‘business as usual’ but it may not be,we heard this line before from INBS and others, and if not this is going to cause quite a nightmare for many people and some them will be our clients.

This is out of our control, and not something we had a contingency plan for, but unlike the norm in Irish finance we are not going to wash our hands of it and say ‘not our fault’, this isn’t about blame, this is about Irish Mortgage Brokers doing a great job for every client we represent, and that isn’t …

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2013 the year banks told borrowers to hand back the keys?

We help different people with different things, and while most of our debt problem clients face broadly similar reactions from the banks, we think it’s important to post the documents which show a presence of lashings and lashings of stupid. To see the full letter click on the image at the bottom of the post

One such document was received by a client recently from the Irish Civil Service building society, also known as ICS and a subsidiary of Bank of Ireland. It’s no secret that posting these documents makes us highly disliked by the banks,  but if people don’t expose them then the great farce will go unchallenged.

What makes this case interesting is that the bank offered a short term forbearance plan which the client asked them to tweak. Then they turned around and changed their mind and went from ‘we can give you a few months to get your affairs in order’ to ‘sell the house or even abandon it’.

In 2008 to now I have never heard a bank say that walking away (also called jingle …

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