RTE News: 1st March 2012, Allsop Space auction

At the auction last week we were asked if we thought that they were fundamentally a good or bad thing; the inclination (given the protests) may be that it’s selling houses out from under people.

Given that these are properties where the owners (virtually all of them were investment properties) cannot pay for them in the foreseeable future it can’t be forgotten that a speedy sale that reduces the build up of arrears and which sells a property where there are live buyers bidding against each other is probably the fairest way to do it.

Nobody likes the idea of anybody ‘losing’ their property (I can’t say ‘home’ because these were not family homes), but if they must then a fair and transparent solution is the best you can hope for.

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Standard Financial Statement or SFS – for people in mortgage arrears

If you go into arrears on your mortgage or you talk to your lender because you believe you are a ‘pre-arrears’ candidate then you will be asked to fill in a ‘Standard Financial Statement‘ or SFS which is part of the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) which started last year.

Engaging with the lender is a key tenet of this and filling in the SFS and liaising with the lender on aspects of it. The information in this is what will be used to negotiate the repayment that you will pay in cases where lifestyle adjustment does not allow you to make the full payment.

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Mortgage Market Trend Outlook 2012

We have made a few more bold predictions in our ‘Mortgage Market Trend Outlook 2012’ and reviewed how wrong many of our 2011 forecasts were as well.

Some of the main points thus far are:

1. That mortgage lending bottomed out in 2011. 2. That IBRC may take on some tracker loan portfolios to de-risk state owned banks (as the state already owns these loans entirely anyway). 3. That rates for existing AIB borrowers will have to go up but that for new borrowers rates may come down with changes to how prices are charged depending on risk of the proposed loan. 4. That deposit rates will start to drop. 5. That up to 25,000 mortgages will be deemed ‘unsustainable’ and that the ‘won’t pay’ contingent of arrears cases may be as high as 1 in 5.

We hope you enjoy this report, we in turn hope that we get some of the calls right!

Many thanks,

Irish Mortgage Brokers

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Best mortgage rates available, December 2011

This is the usual update of rates available at the moment. As you’ll notice, AIB is the leader in almost every section. However, they are not necessarily lending to every client hoping to obtain finance with them – to know if they’ll be the lender of choice you need to construct the application in a manner that will ensure it shows the best aspects of the case to them.

There are lots of other lenders out there too (we deal with the pillar banks and many others as well), so looking at ‘best rate’ is perhaps different than ‘best attainable rate’.

Anyway, here is the list, if you ever want mortgage advice give us a call! 016790990

Best variable rate mortgage: AIB 3.24% (with one for 2.84% < 50% LTV)

Best 1yr fixed rate mortgage: AIB 4.15%

Best 2yr fixed rate mortgage: PTsb 3.1% < 50% LTV, otherwise AIB 4.65%

Best 3yr fixed rate mortgage: AIB 4.88%

Best 5yr fixed rate mortgage: PTsb 3.7% < 50% LTV, otherwise its AIB 5.35%

Best 10yr fixed rate mortgage: n/A 12/2011

Oh, one …

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Tracker mortgages: make sure you don’t miss out!

Yesterday the Examiner broke a story about tracker mortgage holders potentially missing out because they are not reading their terms and conditions. This is an issue we have seen first hand in our company, but it wasn’t due to not reading the terms and conditions, it was down to a bank error.

Recently Bank of Ireland had to put 2,000 accounts back on trackers after they mistakenly took them off and onto variable rates. AIB made the same mistake 214 times and PTsb did it 53 times.

In our own brokerages case we saw something similar recently with PTsb, they insisted to a client that no tracker was available. Then, only after the client remortgaged did they admit their error and offer it back. We represented the client in this case and insisted that all costs were also covered in reinstating the mortgage. This means paying solicitor fees, losses on clawbacks, breakage fees for the fixed rate undertaken etc.

Where this happens has tended to be where …

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Loan refusal statistics: what do they mean?

There are two sets of statistics floating around; on one hand you have the banks who claim that they are lending and also that the demand for credit simply isn’t there – a belief further expounded by John Trethowan. Then on the other hand you have the likes of PIBA who counter claim that 80% of applications are being refused.

So it is important to break down the vital components. First of all, the debate often centres around Small Medium Enterprise (SME) lending; even if demand for that type of credit isn’t there it doesn’t automatically translate into a reduced demand for mortgages. The point being that we can’t compare SME loans/business loan demand to that for mortgage credit.

Secondly is ‘what constitutes a refusal’, and this is where common sense diverges. Even the bank accept that if you seek €200,000 and are only offered €100,000 that it is a loan not fit for purpose, this even goes …

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The ‘Cost’ of Regulation

David McWilliams hit an interesting point in today’s piece in the Independent about having ‘too much regulation’, and how it may repel new banks from coming here.

in late 2009 I was picked as part of a team that approached PostBank with a view to turning it into an SME business bank – our proposal never even made it as far as board meetings because they were determined to close down rather than continue, we found the whole process perverse at best.

Instead the same investor group will be setting up in the UK, meaning SME’s in Ireland lose out on funding.

It isn’t that new banks don’t want to come here, it is that they are routinely put off from doing so via the Central Bank and the way in which we grant banking licences in this country.

The other regulatory issue is Basel III.

Asking a bank during a time like this to …

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NAMA Mortgages, money from thin air?

When a bank creates a loan that becomes an asset, the property it is secured upon is the collateral (sorry my teaming millions, I know I repeat this eternally). So if NAMA decide to become a brand of lender this October as we saw from an article in today’s Independent; then how does it work? Where does the money come from?

Take a property that they are putting up for sale (1st picture: pic not related). We’ll say for the sake of this example that it is worth €200,000.

The NAMA position may be that they paid more or less for this particular property but it doesn’t really matter; what does matter is that for the sake of them selling it the property may as well be unencumbered, there is no lien above that held by the NAMA.

This means they can give a title deed to the buyer when they sell it – but don’t forget, when a person takes …

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