Why not make a bank’s veto backfire on them?

There are two views that have been mentioned recently, one is that bankruptcy should have a reduced term to 1 year and the second is that banks have a veto on insolvency deals.

Perhaps the best way to resolve the issue isn’t to make bankruptcy one year for everybody, but rather to make it one year when and where a bank has rejected an insolvency solution put forward by a personal insolvency practitioner.

This would mean their decision to veto has a negative impact upon them, there are consequences to rejecting genuine offers. Obviously this would require some tweaking because individual cases and circumstances can become quite complex, but it would certainly help a creditor to sharpen their mind if they knew that a refusal could then have worse outcomes without affecting their contractual rights.

The good thing about this is that it would also channel more people into the proper route for dealing with debt (the official regulated insolvency one) and keep them out of what will probably become a scandal some day in the future (the informal channel …

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RTE Radio 1: Talking Money with Karl Deeter & Jill Kerby

On talking Money on the 24th of November we looked at the issue of mortgage arrears and the role of the Insolvency Service in terms of finding ways to get solutions with guaranteed end dates. There is a mismatch between the goal of banks and borrowers and it is resulting in solutions that often don’t work.

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Prudence puts you deeper in debt… Nice work by the Central Bank

The news that higher loan to values will have to be limited is being mistakenly applauded by many financial commentators, almost none of whom work in credit. Towards the end of the post we demonstrate that you can actually be worse off by being forced to wait and put down a larger deposit than if you acted normally and bought today with a 10% deposit.

That’s why taking a look at the numbers beneath and how it will affect mortgages is important. First time buyers are typically the younger end of the house owning spectrum, they largely chose to stay out of the market during the financial crisis, a good choice, very rational.

That is why the people renting rose so much between 2006 and 2011. A total of 474,788 households were in rented accommodation in 2011, a considerable rise of 47 per cent from 323,007 in 2006.

It created a build up of non-owners who want in, but who are not the main driver of property price increases …

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We have ceased to offer debt management services under the Central Bank regulations

Irish Mortgage Brokers have informed the Central Bank that we will not continue the debt management services industry under their regulation. This blog serves to notify people who may want to enquire with us that we are no longer authorised by the Central Bank (we can still offer insolvency solutions). No clients have been adversely affected and we are liaising with the Central Bank to ensure the termination goes smoothly.

Particular issues relate, in our view, to how the Central Bank has approached the regulation, the delays, repeated requests for identical information and specifically seeking management accounts when audited accounts were provided.

We also faced huge delays from the Central Bank in processing and responding to queries which they resolved by asking for more information rather than accepting blame (point above being one such example).

The efforts thus far seem to amount to seeking unrealistic demands from industry then only pulling back when they are shown to be operationally impossible. In the first ‘consultation’ the Central Bank suggested that a mediator hold indemnity for the entire quantum of debt they …

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Joan Burton made a housing issue worse

About four years ago many landlords were receiving letters which stated that rent supplement was going down, this was occurring irrespective of what point in your rental contract you were at. This was at the behest of Joan Burton, the issue of rent supplement was later divested because it was later to be taken over by DECLG.

The genesis of the current issues with much of this rest with Labour and Joan in particular, this isn’t pointed out in the press, but the people affected know it, which is why her name almost always appears on their placards (see image to the left for a recent example)

At the time tenants were getting a letter that stated ‘Rent limits were reduced on the 1/1/12. The new rent limits for a family of your size is now (whatever the price was). Can you ask your landlord to reduce your rent and fill in section 13 to reflect the reduction‘.

This was a unilateral move, and one that paid no attention to the …

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RTE Six One News: Insolvency Service piece by Conor Hunt, 3rd April 2014

We gave a few thoughts on the recent ISI figures.

That the case numbers are low is to be expected, firstly, informal negotiations have had a six year head start, you can’t expect the ISI to be caught up already, secondly, in the UK it took about a decade for the system in general to find its feet.

Lastly, many people don’t want to use personal insolvency as it is rigid and informal deals are not to the same extent, banks offer better terms outside of insolvency, and perhaps the greatest success is that banks are doing these deals only since the ISI launched.

Prior to that they wouldn’t so the fear of people using these solutions has spurred the lenders into action.

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Insolvency Service Ireland putting regulation first?

The Insolvency Service of Ireland are already starting in on audits of regulated providers to ensure they have the proper procedures in place to deal with people correctly and that they are in adherence to the code.

From our perspective we see it as a very proactive move and a positive one for the regulated debt advisor sector. People complain all the time about ‘light touch regulation’ and it exists in part because the regulators in question are not out there looking into the affairs of the market participants, or the market participants are finding ways to duck the rules the normal firms have to abide by.

Regulatory arbitrage is thankfully not present in the PIP space the way it is in the debt mediation industry. You can’t call yourself a ‘Personal Insolvency Practitioner’ unless you actually are one whereas it is still the case that unregulated entities can call themselves debt mediators and charge for the service.

How long should they wait before the start a process like this given so few PIA’s have been done? No time at …

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Getting through the heavy lifting of debt mediation, one result at a time

We had another successful outcome with a lender and thought that it might be worth describing in terms of how it came about and how it worked out.

This time it was Bank of Ireland who many say (in the past ourselves included) are notoriously difficult to deal with, while they are not easy (as none of them are) we have noticed a definite thaw in recent months in how they deal with negotiators which is a positive development.

The client in question has a job in the public sector (many in mortgage arrears do), but has faced various reductions in income and tax increases which resulted in payments being missed.

They engaged with the bank to no avail, spoke to another firm who they heard offer debt mediation for free but then got a quote and that kind of annoyed them so they called us. We suggested that if they wanted free service they go back to the provider who they spoke to first, that provider sent out a standard financial statement reminding them it would cost upwards …

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We don’t have recourse to the FSO, wholesale repossessions & other IBRC myths

The hype-machine is in full throttle on the sale of the former INBS loans. The fear being that some large evil hedge-fund is out there waiting to repossess homes in the thousands.

There may be such a fund headed by some unknown Dr. Evil, but chances are a hedge-fund is the best outcome for the IBRC mortgage holders.

While some of the points about who does and doesn’t fall under various regulations has been made here already, it is worth pointing out that several other factors must apply.

Firstly is that IBRC loans have no recourse to the FSO already, and loans in the IBRC cannot be changed outside of the original loan terms so people simply can’t get a solution while they are IBRC owned.

This is a problem common in other lenders such as Bank of Scotland who don’t exist here any more, only original loan terms can apply so apart from interest only there is no creativity for a mortgage resolution allowed.

Due to that …

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Could the new AIB split mortgage be illegal?

In the Sunday Business Post yesterday an article appeared which explained the new AIB split mortgage deal. We sought details of this from AIB but only scant ones were provided which we posted already.

How it works in money terms was not disclosed by AIB but they equally didn’t retract any statements showing up in the press so we can assume that the information published is correct as they haven’t publicly retracted any aspect of how it has been covered. For that reason there was an aspect to this which we see as being of grave concern.

However, if Mary and Tom get a pension lump sum at retirement, they must use this towards paying down tranche B. This only applies to pension lump sums and doesn’t apply to any other lump sums a person may receive e.g. inheritance, bonus payments, gifts, lotto win etc. On this matter it is always advisable to seek professional pension advice.

Read the highlighted parts again, ‘they must use’ the lump sum …

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