Are Vulture Funds getting their claws into your property?

by Padraig Conlon

In recent years, Vulture funds have been snapping up thousands of Irish home, business and farm loans.

Permanent TSB, AIB and Bank of Ireland, all bailed out by the state, are among the institutions who’ve sold thousands of mortgages linked to struggling homeowners for billions of euro.

Earlier this month, Ulster Bank agreed to sell €800 million of mortgages, mainly issued on family homes, to US vulture fund CarVal Investors.

The vulture funds are about to be presented with another €9bn before the end of this year, with the letters due to start arriving in early 2020.

Starting next week, and all the way up to Christmas, Dublin Gazette will publish a series of features designed to reach out and help readers, plus their friends and family, who may be caught up in financial distress.

We will talk to people who are working on finding solutions to halt this impending financial distress, and also look at what’s really going on with profiteering, Irish banking, the courts and what, if anything, our elected representatives plan to do about it in the run-up to the next General Election.

We’ll be examining the roles currently being played by:

Vulture Funds – who are they, and who benefits most from their profiteering activities.?

Reits – spiralling rents and the export of untaxed profits, described by the Master of the High Court as “Apple II”;

Banks – what exactly is happening with Distressed Loan Sales today at AIB, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB, BoI and KBC?

Politicians – what the various party spokespersons, and some leading politicians, have to say.

Confidence and Supply – we ask why our political leaders are hiding behind Brexit and suffering from indecision, while the Dublin housing crisis worsens.

Courts and the obvious need for Legal Aid to assist those attempting to keep a roof over their heads.

Homelessness –In the midst of the worst housing crisis in the history of the state, we’ll talk to Dublin City Councillor Anthony Flynn, Fr Peter McVerry, and many others, heavily involved in the sector.

Charity – we will be looking at Inner City Helping Homeless, Focus Ireland and McVerry Trust, amongst many others, to see how they are helping Dublin’s homeless population.

Ethical Solutions – what has the Not-For-Profit sector got to offer in terms of ethically-funded alternatives to the Vulture Funds?

Solutions– what can YOU possibly do about it?

So please join us on this seven-week journey which will help guide you, and maybe someone you know, towards a route to recovery.

Please keep this seven-part pull-out section, share it with your family, your neighbours and friends, and build up a paper and/or digital collection over the coming weeks.

First up, starting next week, we will open the series by looking at Vulture Funds, who or what are they, how did they get their claws into this country, and why are they still with us.

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