Soc It To Dem



Stephen Donnelly

Last week Social Democrats TD Stephen Donnelly raised the case of a family – Sarah, Dominic and their two children – who are being evicted from their home in Kilkenny.

But Is there more to this story?

And less to Mr Donnelly?

Frilly Keane writes:

Eviction is rare.

Applications by Secured Creditors for Possession isn’t

But here’s sum’ting else Stephen Donnelly , the Social Democrat that doesn’t wear the purple uniform, didn’t tell us in his Opposition Leaders Questions on July 7, and this is exactly what every County Registrar in the State will ask the Plaintiff Banks and other Institutions seeking Final Orders when they present the Book:

“Balance Outstanding?”

“Amount in Arrears?”

“Monthly Payments Due?”

“Last Payment?”

Now, the latter may, and usually is, expanded: “What were the payments like before that?”

And this is where the Sarah’s and Dominic’s filling up the County Registrars Civil Lists lose all hope. (Assuming they even turn up.)

Stephen Donnelly does a bitta’ve a party piece about the €340k mortgage being written down and sold off; what he didn’t supply was the amount in Arrears and the Last Payments. These are actually the facts that define the true nature of Sarah and Dominic mortgage.

Arrears collect interest and charges like an avalanche collects snow; in other words, that arrears value could well have had a runaway snow ball effect that led to the €340k.

The secured property is currently worth €140k, we’re told, and that’s what’s sustainable, we’re told, that’s what they can afford, we’re told; but what’ve it was worth 240k or 440k?

Writing down mortgage assets, unless the secured property is impaired, say like flooded, pyrite infected, on someone else’s land, or burnt out, will never happen.

So the real news here is not Sarah and Dominic’s mortgage debt; and SD Stephen Donnelly knew that when he pandered to the masses with this ballad.

Because once Dominic and Sarah’s mortgage is deemed unsustainable, which it has to for Possession Orders against a Family home (or as the banks like to say PPR) to commence, there is nothing stopping them qualifying for the Mortgage to Rent scheme.

Unless they don’t qualify for the Kilkenny County Council Housing List because their income is too high, perhaps, (btw do not read this as an endorsement of the current MTR Scheme.)

But it is my assertion that “Eviction” is bullshit drama queening from the Social Democrat one third leader.

If he was serious about Sarah and Dominic and all those in the same shoes, then why did he do a David Hall Dramatic Society sketch rather than I dunno, investigate if the original Mortgage Contract ever even had a chance of surviving its full term?

Was their Mortgage contract ever sustainable? Like, I’m no legal expert but, if there was no real capacity to fulfil the contract to begin with, surely the contract is a bit dodge anyway. (It smells just like that to me btw.)

How about that?

Or what about this Write Down? How much of the €200k Negative Equity is behind the answers to my questions and those of the Kilkenny County Registrar, as noted above?

How about Bruton’s response re the Insolvency Courts; that was wholly incomplete so let me finish it off; a dominant 50%+unsecured creditor can stop an arrangement proposal just like the dominant 50%+secured creditor in the voting requirements.

In other words it’s not just the Banks.

Yes there is a Court Review, but the palaver and hoo haa just to get to calling a Creditor’s Meeting that fails the voting threshold, and then onto that Circuit Court merry-go-round is just too time consuming for any decent Professional to even make minimum wage let alone go up against the deep pockets of the Dominant Creditors looking to make a point.

And it is happening daily. That is why Bankruptcy is still the most efficient option.

Insolvency is, in the main, a Financial Process, yet Bruton and his pals have convoluted it into a Legal Labyrinth and Mandatory Compliance Swamp that makes it unrealistic for independent practitioners to stay independent or even full-time.

Many are Financial Advisors who are still selling mortgages and pensions and whatever yer having yerself for commission from the very institutions that are more likely to appear on any creditor list, secured and unsecured; yet fee influence doesn’t seem to bother the regulations.

Independent Professional Practices cannot give the time to a case that won’t return the price of a tank of diesel to the Circuit Court in Tullamore, so they’ve returned to Family Law, Accountancy etc.

Then you’re left with the big boys like Grant Thornton, who would be no stranger to some of the personnel in IBRC, Mars Capitol, etc. Or MABS … g’luck there.

Governments sell assets all the time. Nothing new there lads, sure we even buy them back ffs.

If you ask me Stephan Donnelly One Third Party Leader is as concerned about Sarah and Dominic in much the same way their local Commissioner Phil Hogan probably is.

If Donnelly was really really arsed, he would have elaborated on their financial behaviour and perhaps put into the record that the, what I called the snowball effect on the debt attached to their family home, would suddenly stop when the County Registrar signs that Possession Order and gives them 9 months stay.

How about mentioning that during the 9 months any number of resolutions can be found before any Execution Order is sought, how about recommending a change to this 9 months maximum to say, I dunno, 18 months minimum?

But the Social Democrat One Third Leader didn’t go near all that. What he did was extract some limelight and bundled it all together, like momentum.

The real news story here is the bollockology around the reported profit of the Secured Creditor- a grand? (my hole it is) and to be fair the SD One Third Leader mentioned this along with a call for a Revenue Investigation, but only just. Sur’ I’ve done that meself.

It is my opinion that he has deliberately clouded up this real story with the Ballad of Dominic and Sarah and their “Eviction” for dramatic effect and sticking power.

Why would the ex McKinsey Harvard man do that?

I get accused here all the time of introducing social issues and losing them in my writing style, yet the ex McKinsey Harvard Man did just that; and there wasn’t an effin’ whimper out’ve anyone.

Another Social Democrat One Third Leader gets to stand up about Charities, which ye heard already from me, and the balancing third gets their turn with a certain Ex-Pat, again. I’ve already shouted out for Revenue and CAB officials to step up and use the powers they already have.

Again and Again and Again.

What are they at? The Social Democrats? Besides being comical with everyone’s a leader, boring the tits off me, and preaching like busy body Resident Association activists whenever they get a chance.

More importantly, where will they end up?

Stephen Donnelly does not want to be a Social Democrat TD, that’s for sure, he wants sum’ting else and it’s not in Leinster house. Purple might be the girls’ colour but Blue is his game.

Roisin will feck off and join the Ministerial ranks again, and Catherine, arra I dunno, she means well and has gravitas but she’ll never get the gig we need her to do anyway.

So let’s hear it! Will their Purple fade to Grey before the next election?

Frilly keane’s column appears here every Friday. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

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69 thoughts on “Soc It To Dem

  1. meh.

    This looked like it might have been interesting – but I cannot bring myself to read the affected nonsense.

    1. jambon

      It’s AWFUL. Frilly is about as appealing/entertaining as Mr Blobby. With apologies to Mr Blobby.

  2. Anne

    Writing down mortgage assets, unless the secured property is impaired, say like flooded, pyrite infected, on someone else’s land, or burnt out, will never happen.

    Oh but it did happen.. the write down was for 42% in this case, for very wealthy investment fund by the name of Mars Capital.

      1. Water Boy

        Because they love Irish people so much they want to shower them with water charge abolition

      2. Anne

        You’re asking the wrong question.

        They will recoup considerably more than the 58% they paid.. why should we enrich these Vulture funds, leaving Irish homeowners vulnerable.

    1. serf

      You miss the point – nobody wrote down the debt, it was sold for what it was really worth (remember the house was only worth €40k)

      1. Robert

        So why would you offer the write-down to an external corporate entity, and not an actual y’know citizen? Moral hazard you say? Oh because a corporate entity isn’t subject to morality but real people are and yet, when it suits them claim corporate personhood, and all the rights that go with that.

  3. Clampers Outside!

    Ah Frilly…. really…. did Pearse Doherty help ya write that :)

    There’s an overriding assumption that the evictions are his only concern here which is far too simplistic.
    He made great points about how Vulture Funds are using charity status to hide taxes on earnings in Ireland, by using the ‘Ten One’ (not correct name, can’t think of it right now… anyone?) charity status which was intended for overseas investment profits, not profits made here.
    These are very valid points he makes, and I only wish he went further and called for the outright ban on vulture funds like the UK have done, since 2010. And the Belgian govt too has ant-Vulture Fund laws, but the EU is dragging it’s heels on it.

    It’s like you accuse Stephen of band wagoning the issue…. and we all know who the biggest band wagon party is Frilly, your fav the Shinners and Irish Water protests for example.

    I think what you are missing is that people respond to personal interest stories. Stephen used, yes he used the hardship of these people to demonstrate the bigger problem.
    What you’ve done Frilly is largely ignored the big problem of Vulture Funds and their tax dodging which is Stephen’s point, and focused on the example, the personal interest story, in order to attack his motivations and very oddly, promote yourself with ‘I said that already’.

    Get a grip Frilly. Very poorly disguised Shinnerbottery designed to attack another party, that’s all this piece is, and nothing more, IMO.

    [….of course I don’t see the SDs as infallible… just pre-empting :) ]

      1. Maria

        I’ve joined! I’m sick of corruption in this State. Need an anti corruption Party. They are the nearest so I’ll give them a chance.

      2. Frida

        They’re also looking for a Communications Director with “Impeccable writing skills”.

        Responsibilities Include:
        Acting as first point of contact for members of the media, including responding to media enquiries and proactively promoting the party, it’s policy and other output, and it’s elected members…

        Clearly they didn’t engage those impeccable writing skills to write the ad ;)

        1. Lilly

          Lol, saw that! I’ll be interested to see who takes the job. Who would move for a fixed-term contract that lasts until just after a General Election is called? It sounds interesting though, I’m a big fan of Murphy.

    1. pedeyw

      The problem with the left is that we’re always kicking lumps out of each other instead of doing anything useful.

      1. Kieran NYC

        Because the fundamentalists prefer ideological purity over getting elected or getting anything done.

  4. Anne

    On this bit –

    The secured property is currently worth €140k, we’re told, and that’s what’s sustainable, we’re told, that’s what they can afford, we’re told; but what’ve it was worth 240k or 440k?

    The loan after the write down was 140k… which the couple could well afford, but were not given the option to avail of this write down..

    Here –

    Sarah and Dominic’s mortgage was about €350,000, so Mars Capital got it for about €140,000 – an amount the couple could have afforded. Instead, they still owe the full €350,000 to Mars Capital and face the prospect of eviction.

    It’s not entirely clear what exactly the market value of the house is worth.. it would be considerably less than 350k, but more than what the Vultures are getting the houses for.

    He’s giving an example of with this couple’s mortgage.. he’s breaking down the figures, in terms of the percentage discount the Vultures got, applying it to their mortgage. They didn’t buy any mortgage individually.. they were bundled together, 1,400 of them. He’s breaking down the figures, with an example so people can understand the particular discount the vultures got 42%, and he’s applying to one mortgage.

    Ja get it now? It’s not about how their particular mortgage is performing.. he’s giving an example, using a real couple.. the discount the vultures got was on the full 1,400 mortgages.

    1. Water Boy

      Has the couple put a credible and funded offer on the table for the market value of the home or even the value of the home less legal and agent fees or is the just rear view mirror stuff making claims that were hypothetical?

      1. Anne

        They weren’t allowed bid on their own mortgages apparently..

        And what would be credible? Anything over the 42% discount the vultures got.. would that be credible?

        1. Joni2015

          Because they had no money to bid with.
          The bank saves money by selling in bulk. They wanted hard cash not to give another mortgage out to some dodgy couple.
          There’s also the moral hazard element. Want to cut your mortgage in half? Just stop paying for six years and then bid on your own delinquent loan.

          1. Anne

            Because they had no money to bid with.

            Where do you think Mars Capital got money?
            Do you think the salaries of the two directors of Mars capital who previously worked at IRBC were that high?

            There’s nothing dodgy about the couple dear.. There are ways of determining if people are genuinely distressed financially.. i.e. a job loss.

            I don’t see why it’s beneficial to the Irish people to give massive discounts to these vultures funds.. by a bank the Irish people are supposed to own and have pumped billions into.

          2. scottser

            That particular move is called The Denis O’Brien Backhand’ in accounting circles.

    2. Anne

      “He’s breaking down the figures, with an example so people can understand the particular discount the vultures got 42%, and he’s applying to one mortgage. ”

      They actually paid 42 cent in the euro.. the discount was 58%

      Until recently, we didn’t know how big the discounts were that the State was selling people’s mortgages at. Mars Capital’s newly filed 2015 accounts show they paid 42 cent in the euro.

  5. Anne

    there is nothing stopping them qualifying for the Mortgage to Rent scheme.

    Like this woman –

    “On an individual level the staff were polite and courteous, but the message was always the same: ‘We are going to take the house and you are going to have to get out’.”

    Flynn tried different options, without success. Eventually she met David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association. He argued that she was perfect for a scheme where one-time mortgage-holders become tenants.

    There was no joy. However, Hall went to the press to tell the story. A year ago, the fund agreed to let Flynn move onto the scheme. “We have been working through the details ever since,” she says.

    “Once they said yes I felt as if I could tackle everything. I know I will never own my own house but I will be able to keep a roof over my kids’ heads.

    The vultures get to keep the asset, at a massive discount, funded by the taxpayer, paying no tax on that rent… there is nothing stopping them from renting forever.. Wonderful Frilly. Wonderful. Stick to the brown mince meat..

    1. Frilly Keane

      So let’s have a conversation about the MTR currently out there Anne

      Or David Hall
      Who’s solution is
      In this order

      go to the press
      ( gimp walk for the 6one outside the Four Courts included)

      Or Bankruptcy
      ( more 4 Courts posing .. Court 14 on Mondays if you fancy it)

      Or Grant Thornton.
      Or why his IMHO and his “experts” is funded by AIB and KBC etc.

      Or let’s have a conversation about Burton’s reply about Insolvency

      Come on Anne
      You’ve the time
      So pick one

      1. Anne

        Have you a link about what Burton said on insolvency? I can’t really follow what you were saying above about that.

        Is that your problem with David Hall? That he goes to the press?

        It seems to have worked for the woman in the IT story I linked to.. if it works, why not like.

        I don’t know how well the mortgages are performing.. and my point is, the discount the vultures received – 58%, the mortgage holders could well have afforded that.
        There’s a group of them on facebook I found by the way, if you’re interested –

  6. Colm

    This article may have been accurate, or innaccurate but with a few nuggets of information or completely innaccurate but it’s such a difficult read that I can’t tell. Maybe it’s me and my degraded attention span but I have understood other stuff before.
    Could the info in have been passed onto someone who doesn’t have a ‘signature style’ and more of ‘readable style’. I respect the right of the author to have their affectations but this seems to be a waste of knowledge in this case.

  7. Fergus the magic postman

    Well done on the fact checking Anne. Made this bit worthwhile in the end.

        1. Maria

          I just want to know how long we are meant to stay on the Naughty List? I’m on it since my first comment to Broadsheet!!! :):):)

  8. ahjayzis

    Writing down mortgage assets, unless the secured property is impaired, say like flooded, pyrite infected, on someone else’s land, or burnt out, will never happen.

    Um, they write down mortgages every day of the week – for the vulture funds who buy them. Write-downs are common, just not done in a way that lets people stay in their home. So Sarah and Dominic will be evicted, and the state, who’ve taken a loss in selling the mortgage to the vultures, will further incur expense having to hosue them. Literally the only peoeple who win are the unnecessary middle-men asset stripping the country.

    Now, I’ll translate for you;

    Ah heya hun dey write d’own dem morg’idges evry day of de week hu’n – 4 the vulture funds wot bye dem. Rytdowns are common, just not dun in a whey dat lets pay-ple stay in their gafs. S’o yer wan and yer man will be thrun oush and den us mug’ll hav’ta howse dem babez.

    1. Sullery

      In fairness, they aren’t writing down the value of the mortgages when they securitise them and sell them to third parties. The amount of debt secured by the mortgage doesn’t change. The lender is cutting their losses (or whatever reason why they look for cash immediately) by selling the debt, so it would be a completely different thing to just have sold the people the entirety of their equity for €140k. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a mechanism for this – there really should – but i think Donnolly should be proposing a mechanism of this sort (and legislation to ban vulture funds) rather than make these false equivalences. But it’s good he’s drawing attention to this practice

      1. Anne

        “they aren’t writing down the value of the mortgages when they securitise them and sell them to third parties. ”

        I’m trying to follow that there.. We know the ‘value of the mortgages’ aren’t written down, that’s the problem. The Irish taxpayer, through a state owned bank we’ve pumped billions into already, is giving massive discounts on the debt these homeowners have – their mortgages, to these vulture funds. The taxpayer is picking up the tab for this 58% write down that these funds are able to avail of.

        I don’t see the false equivalences. The vulture fund is getting a discount of 58%.. so to break it down to an example of one couple’s mortgage, it would be the equivalent of them now only owing 140k , where they originally owed 350k, if they were to get the write down that the Irish taxpayer has funded.

        1. Sullery

          Yes, it’s very jesuitical – but it’s not the debt being devalued, it’s the value of the mortgage as an asset that is (arguably) being undersold. If we wanted to get rid of this practice we’d have to ban the practice of securitisation, which would be a pain in the hole, probably impossible given the transnational nature of the thing. I think Donnelly is barking up the wrong tree therefore. Much more salient I think is who bought the mortgages, which looks very like insider trading. More dáil oversight of these assets sales is required, and fair play to the SocDems for trying.

          1. Anne

            “it’s the value of the mortgage as an asset that is (arguably) being undersold.”

            Yes, by the Irish government.. funded by the Irish tax payer.. to the tune of 58 percent of a write off.

            No one is arguing that the debt was devalued.. otherwise the debtor wouldn’t owe the same amount.

            It does look very much like insider trading.. 2 directors at Mars Capital previously working at IRBC.

  9. some old queen

    Frilly gets dug into the details of a personal story which is fairly irrelevant. Apart from tacky point scoring I really don’t see the point and getting personal on the SD people or their intent is just plain bitchy.

    The real issue is that vultures are allowed to operate in Ireland at all, let along scamming as a charity. Has any other political party raised the issue of vulture operations in Ireland in Dáil Éireann before Stephen?

    If not why not?

  10. Junkface

    Its about the power Vulture funds have over the Irish housing Market, not just the details of one couples mortgage. Bloody hell

  11. bisted

    …don’t know what the Soc Dems are about either Frilly but I agree that Catherine seems to be the most sincere. Stephen Donnelly is a great speaker and seems to know his stuff…but then again, so is Declan Ganley. Stephen does just seem to be passing through but I don’t know where the destination is. As for Roisin…well she fell foul of Dicey and bailed out of labour at just the right time…she must be looking at Shane Fein with some envy…think you are right about he ministerial ambitions…

  12. TheDude

    So, to boil it down. Law firm sets up philanthropic foundation, then two years later creates vulture fund under said foundation to avoid tax under section 110? is this Panama\Luxembourg 2?

  13. Anne

    Frilly’s excessive criticism of Anne-Marie McNally’s posts makes more sense now.

    I mean if you can’t support the idea of the ordinary people being shafted by the Irish gov to the Vultures, simply because it’s coming from the SDs.. well then…. you can rightly be ignored.

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