RTE Drivetime: ‘Talking Money’ what about those ‘Vulture loans? 9th March 2015

The idea that a buyer of a loan is a ‘vulture’ stirs up a lot of negative connotations. In this instalment of ‘Talking Money’ on RTE’s Drivetime show our very own Karl Deeter discussed the rules that loan buyers have to abide by.

An interesting point is that it will likely be many of the ‘vultures’ who do better deals than the banks will do and that people need not be overly afraid (at least in advance) to their loan being sold because the law is there to protect them.

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We are an international leader (at selling distressed loans)

This info-graphic is an interesting one, it shows the value of loan sales per head of capita across much of Europe.

We have done almost 9 times more than the British, trumped the Germans 38 times over and the Spaniards would only catch up if they increased their loan sales times 55!

We are truly special and so far in the lead when it comes to this.

(many thanks to Lisney and Cushman Wakefield for yesterday’s presentation this is taken from)

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Protection of Residential Mortgage Account Holders Bill 2014

Normally I expect a better outing from Fianna Fail – in particular where Michael McGrath is concerned. Their new bill for protecting mortgage account holders (aimed mainly at IBRC former Nationwide loan holders) is a banger.

It gets down to details in section 3 onwards. In section 4 it calls any buyer to ‘be bound by such Codes of Practice that govern residential mortgages that are in force at the time of the sale and/or transfer or are subsequently introduced by the Central Bank’. This is misinformation.

You can’t ‘opt in’ to regulation, something we already covered here, you are either regulated or not and mimicking best practice doesn’t mean anything as there is no binding force behind it.

In section 4.2 it states that ‘It shall be a precondition to the sale or transfer of residential mortgage loans by persons or entities who acquire, either by purchase or transfer, residential mortgage loans from financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank to other persons or entities …

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NAMA can’t ‘opt in’ to regulation

Something that has been circulating of late is that if NAMA buy the Irish Nationwide (subsumed into IBRC) loan book that they will follow best practise and no borrower will be ‘less well off’ due to it in terms of regulatory protection.

This is not true because an important aspect of regulatory protection is that of recourse to the office of the Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO). This recourse is covered in section 51 of the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears and also in the Consumer Protection Code of 2012 10.9(d).

Simply stating that you will follow or mimic the existing codes and regulation isn’t the same as actually being covered by them, it doesn’t grant jurisdiction. The FSO cannot structurally cover a complaint made against an unregulated entity. It really isn’t far different than going to them with a complaint about a restaurant you ate at, if they don’t cover the institution they can’t deal with the complaint.

The oft overlooked point is that the granting of regulation …

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How does a mortgage holder get a writedown when banks sell their loan?

Tonight on RTE’s Primetime they are going to cover the dilemma some IBRC mortgage holders (residential mortgage holders from both Irish Nationwide and Anglo) face when their loans are sold.

If the loans have a discount limit set on them as the commercial loans do then there will be little or no appetite for them because as it stands estimates are that 50% of the former INBS loan book are impaired in some way.

The  sale will probably proceed but it’s a question of who the buyer may be. The IBRC loan assets are being independently valued and then offered for sale through a competitive auction process.

Loan assets may only be sold for bids that exceed these independent valuations. All but a very small number of loans are being offered for sale as part of larger portfolios of loans.  

Successful bids must exceed the independent valuation, this is in effect a restriction on any discount. We have found no difference in the sale process as between IBRC mortgage loan assets and other IBRC loan assets.

The values that …

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Zombie Banks acting like Zombies

I wrote a piece in today’s Irish Sun about our banks and that the state owned operations are showing a decided lack of inventiveness when it comes to helping existing borrowers.

This may be down to disincentives, issues with management or the Department of Finance, but suffice to say, it doesn’t make sense that non-state owned banks and foreign banks are innovating in potentially beneficial ways for their customers and the banks we paid to save are not.

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