Belfast Telegraph

Protection planned for those paying mortgages owned by ‘vulture’ funds

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said new legislation would ensure their regulation.

Leo Varadkar says new legislation aims to protect those repaying mortgages to so-called vulture funds (Brian Lawless/PA)
Leo Varadkar says new legislation aims to protect those repaying mortgages to so-called vulture funds (Brian Lawless/PA)

New legislation aims to protect those whose mortgages who are now owned by so-called vulture funds, the Taoiseach has said.

A number of loans and mortgages were bought up by various forms of  private equity firms and pension funds during Ireland’s financial crash.

Leo Varadkar said legislation was currently being enacted to ensure those repaying mortgages to them will have exactly the same consumer protections as they would if the loan was still owned by the banks.

He said he was reluctant to use the term vulture funds, describing it as political.

“What we’re talking about here is investment banks, investment funds, finance houses, you know, there are lots of different things and lots of different financial entities there and the term is used, vulture funds,” he said.

“But you’ll know from the numbers that they’re often better at write-downs of loans than our own banks are.

“Our own banks tend to ‘extend and pretend’ rather than coming to settlements with people.

“Increasingly they’re covered by the same regulations and the same consumer protections as the banks are.

“So, what we’re working on is enacting legislation that Michael McGrath has brought forward, which is to make sure that so-called vulture funds are being regulated.

“We support that and we are going to make sure that anyone who has a mortgage, who is repaying their mortgage, making a reasonable effort to pay it, continues to have the exact same protections, the exact same consumer protections as they would if the loan was still owned by the banks.

“That’s our commitment to make sure that people who pay their mortgages, pay their bills, are no worse off as a result and have the exact same protections.”

Mr McGrath brought a private member’s Bill in February 2018 to bring so-called vulture funds within the full suite of Central Bank regulation.

PA

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