WLR FM speak to Irish Mortgage Brokers about funds buying mortgage loans.

We were happy to take part with Maria on WLR FM about the loans that were being sold by Ulsterbank. We wanted to make the point that restructured loans that were making their payments were not going to be transferred and that many of these loans were many years in arrears (on the residential loans it is often 7 years behind). This indicates the loans are not sustainable, and that concluding the loans is probably a better outcome for all parties than the continued situation where the banks and borrowers are both in total denial. After a decade of this crisis it has come to the point where people have to accept that some homes will be lost but that sometimes those homes are empty, other times the person will get debt writedowns and that’s a good outcome too.

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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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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.

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RTE Drivetime – the IBF property market report, 28th May 2013

We were asked to speak to Mary Wilson about the IBF property report on RTE Drivetime. There was a view given earlier in the day that the month on month increase in applications was a positive thing, we chose to look at year on year figures which tell an entirely different story. And while lending is down 26%, drawdowns down over 18%, transactions are up over 14%.

To us this is indicative of a market where credit is not functioning in it’s natural role, price is not the issue, it’s scarcity which is the problem.

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Final Quarter lending of 2012

From various conversations it seems to be that there will be a spike in lending during the final quarter of 2012, it is being credited to TRS availability, and many are saying that has brought forward demand but I don’t know it that holds true or not other than for buyers who would have been active anyway.

The Department of Finance was unimpressed when I suggested in the recent past that some kind of tax break on property would still be required going forward, oddly enough that did actually happen, the new property tax will come with a waiver for first time buyers, although this will never add up to the same benefit as TRS would.

We’ll have to wait until 2013 for the precise IBF/PWC lending figures but suffice to say, if the anecdotal evidence I am hearing from every lender in the market is true, then Q4 may prove to be the biggest lending quarter in 2012. Certainly it would keep the trend that you have a big Q4 followed by a quieter Q1, so keep an eye …

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Four channels, one show, different prices – lending looking up in 2013?

AIB currently have four lending channels, there is AIB direct (their branches), AIB Broker (via the Ballsbridge HQ), EBS (done through branches and administered via the AIB direct system) and finally Haven Mortgages (another broker channel currently still located in the old EBS offices on Burlington Road).

There are four channels all operating off of the same credit pricing and all with different rates! Meaning where you choose to apply will make a big difference, even though under the hood you are getting an identical product. This is a classic example of having a brand name product sold at one price then the ‘own brand’ which is made by the same people as the first one, put into a different package and sold at a different price.

At the moment Haven only lend up to 80% meaning you need a 20% deposit, EBS have gone up to 92% which matches them with AIB (direct and brokerage), so the next rational step is for Haven to go to 92% which we are tipped off will be happening in Q1 of 2013, …

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Banks acting like teenagers?

I smiled when I heard that Central Bank director Fiona Muldoon had described dealing with the banks as ‘like dealing with troublesome teenagers‘. This was referring to their resistance to resolving their loan book issues for the last five years.

The thing that wasn’t mentioned was ‘why’, and as always, it’s the ‘why’ that plagues many of us the most. The ‘delay and pray’ response is a standard tactic deployed by lenders when they have a crisis, this has occurred in Japan in the past, is currently an issue in Vietnam and also in the USA. Banking is one of the industries where honesty is not the point, survival is. At any time a bank could unwind if everybody made their claims against them and the same broadly holds true for dealing with bad debts.

If a bank started to deal with one bad debt (at a time when there is a pent up mass of them in the …

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IBF Latest Lending figures – what does a ratio tell us?

Yesterday good news was spreading about a year on year increase in new mortgages for home-owners, I debated the topic on TodayFM with Pat Farrell from the IBF. Figures are tricky to do on radio so I figured I might write something today, but got a surprise before the chance came when I saw the Irish Times article on the topic.

It isn’t like the Irish Times to get it wrong (personally, I take whatever the write as a virtual equivalent to gospel), but they did, today’s article states that we saw the first rise in mortgage loan numbers (we didn’t), and

The number of new mortgage loans issued during the second quarter rose on a year-on-year basis, the first time this has happened since early 2006.” (this would imply that lending grew or was larger YoY, it wasn’t).

The IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile reveals that a total of 3,225 new mortgages to …

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Short Sale Loans or Negative Equity Loans

We were asked to make a presentation to the Department of Finance’s ‘Expert Group on Mortgage Arrears’ which is made up of the main interest groups and representative bodies in finance and housing. This firm has long been an advocate of market oriented solutions (short sales, moving paper etc.). However, in Ireland there are several issues.

Firstly, short-sales are not possible because of the manner in which recourse to the loan exists, it is on the person and not just the asset, this gives no incentive to lenders to accept a short sale except for people who are already financially strong, our debt laws also work against the borrower.

Secondly, as a shareholder in the banks it may not be in the interest of the shareholder (taxpayer) to bail out the individual, personally I don’t want to continue to shoulder costs for anybody, not our banks, borrowers or anybody else, I want taxes to go toward vital services and not much else. Any scheme should be revenue neutral or profitable.

That is where the idea …

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