IBRC mortgage bidders sign up to arrears code

Lobby group says deal won’t allay borrowers’ fears

  David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation said the agreement did not go far enough.

David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation said the agreement did not go far enough.

Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 01:00

Bidders for the 13,000 former Irish Nationwide home loans put up for sale by IBRC’s special liquidators will voluntarily sign up to a code of practice that protects borrowers whose mortgages are in arrears if they are successful.

However, one lobby group says that the deal announced late yesterday, does not go far enough and has pledged to go ahead with a protest outside Leinster House today when the liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG appear before the Oireachtas Joint Finance Committee.


Protection
Around 13,000 people who bought their homes with money they borrowed from the Irish Nationwide fear that they will have no protection if those loans are sold to overseas investors as part of the wind up of IBRC, which took over the building society’s business after the financial crisis.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Wallace and Mr Richardson said that those bidding for the mortgages have agreed to abide by the Central Bank’s Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA).

This obliges Irish institutions to engage with those whose payments are not up to date and find a possible resolution.

The liquidators said in a statement that they were aware of borrowers’ anxieties and had also noted concerns expressed by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan.


Satisfied
“We are pleased that the bidders have voluntarily indicated that if successful, they would direct that the mortgage loans were serviced in accordance with the terms of the CCMA,” their statement added.

“We are satisfied that the voluntary nature of this arrangement strikes a fair balance between the interests of mortgage holders as well as interests of the creditors of IBRC.”

Reacting to the news, David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation said that the agreement did not go far enough.

“It’s voluntary, it cannot be enforced by the Central Bank or anyone else,” he said, adding that the code had to be made compulsory for any organisation that buys the loans.