Newstalk Sunday Show: A discussion on the ‘Tsunami of repossessions’ that hasn’t arrived

On Newstalk’s ‘The Sunday Show’ Shane Coleman spoke to Karl Deeter (of Irish Mortgage Brokers) and David Hall of the IMHO.

It was to cover the topic of repossessions and some research that had  been carried out by Karl Deeter and several others (Seamus Coffey, Economics lecturer in UCC, Brendan Burgess of AskAboutMoney.com and Simon Farrell, researcher) about what occurs in courts during possession hearings.

The debate was robust and lively.

Read More

Newstalk: Jonathan Healy talks to Karl Deeter about the new Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) 27th June 2013

Jonathan Healy asked for for some thoughts on the new code of conduct for mortgage arrears which came out on the 27th of June. We made a submission on the proposed changes but think that they went beyond what was a reasonable trade off, the use of autodiallers are still allowed, and taking people off trackers (as opposed to changing margins) is also going to be allowed but it hinges on ‘sustainability’ which is an undefined word.

The closing comment that the ‘most toxic bank in the country has the word ‘central’ in front of it’ is not a lightly made charge, in light of the disastrous financial bailout of our banks the weight of responsibility on the people who should have been keeping watch is immeasurable.

Read More

A critique of the new Central Bank and CCMA measures

This article appeared in the Sunday Business Post on the 17th of March 2013

A senior banker described the new rules introduced by the Government and Central bank as ‘a charter for the obvious’ because ‘banks need to become banks not terminal collections companies’, and while some are quick to lend support or decry it as a travesty, we should instead look at the factual impact the new targets and code of conduct on mortgage arrears will actually have.

Policy makers say it is a leap forward, debtor lobbyists say it is nothing short of throwing borrowers to the wolves, both are wrong, its just a new set of trade off’s.

Being able to repossess a property is normal in any housing market, ‘bans’, ‘delays’ or ‘moratoriums’ on repossessions have been used in several nations (Czech Republic, Russia, Hungary, Ireland and the USA) and are government lead. In our case it was Government lead until the Dunne ruling in 2011 hard wired it into law. This must be reversed, it is …

Read More

Mortgage writedowns occurring, but how much?

We often hear that banks are writing down mortgage debts, but then the lenders themselves say ‘this isn’t happening’. For such a large rumour there is a surprising lack of evidence on either side of the argument, although we do see scant documentation indicating this in some cases.

If you click on the picture it will give you the larger version of the kind of documents we see from time to time. In this instance the client has said they owe over €200,000 but that they lender will take less than half of this, settling on a figure of c. €90,000 to clear in full or they’ll owe the difference if it goes for less.

The property seems to be at a significant discount to others in the same area, and unless the person in question is not being honest (we have no reason to think they aren’t) then the letter indicates over …

Read More

‘Plan B’ for arrears

There is a strange situation occurring in the Irish property market, arrears are rising rapidly, stock of repossessed homes is on the increase, and yet the number of repossessions is dropping; there is a contradiction in here somewhere.

Per quarter the number of properties being repossessed is dropping, banks are taking back fewer and fewer houses, this would normally be a sign of prosperity, people with jobs and a stable property market would mean that there would be some equity in the property as people pay down debt and are able to afford their payments, but that isn’t the case, quite the opposite, Irish households are heavily indebted and arrears are rapidly rising.

The largest number of properties being taken back is actually that of voluntary surrender (and abandonment), so there is no ‘repossession’ monster lurking in the Irish market because we have decided that we don’t want it to exist, this will come at a cost as we incrementally strip banks of their ability to enforce mortgage contracts.

The stock of property …

Read More