Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has called on the government to stop incentivising vulture funds and said that the vultures need to have their wings clipped and their activities reined in.
The Sinn Féin TD described the current attitude of these funds towards ordinary people as “callous and uncaring” and he stated that some vulture funds are demanding full payment of loans from borrowers within seven days of notice, failing to provide any alternative arrangements.
Deputy Seán Crowe said
“The government has designed a tax system that incentivises vulture funds to buy loans which banks are more than happy to offload, despite the dire consequences for those borrowing.
“Ulster Bank in particular has had a particular fondness for selling off these loans to vulture funds. Last year it sold a portfolio of loans known as ‘Project Scariff’ worth €1.6 billion to a vulture fund called Promontoria Scariff.
“That portfolio consisted of approximately 3,600 owner-occupier loans and mortgages secured to 2,900 buy-to-let properties.
“A company called ‘Cabot Financial Ireland’ is now administering these loans and dealing with borrowers.
“My Sinn Féin colleague Pearse Doherty TD told me that he has received correspondence in recent days from two borrowers who are behind by small amounts – around €3,000 in each case. The vulture fund is now demanding full payment, not in respect of the arrears, but full payment of their loans within seven days.
“This is wrong on so many levels. They are being callous and uncaring in not making any attempt to facilitate an arrangement with the borrowers. The prospect for the tenants in these properties will be a notice to quit and eviction by the courts.
“They will then need somewhere to live. It is utter chaos and it runs rough shod over any level of common decency.
“All of this is a direct consequence of government policy and the government rolling out of the red carpet for vulture funds
“They can effectively do this and get away with it because they know that this government made up of Fine Gael and Independents, and propped up by Fianna Fáil, will do nothing to stop them.
“It is precisely because of the actions of companies like Cabot that people rightly fear vulture funds and fear for their homes.
“The government needs to stop incentivising vulture funds. It is long past the time for the vultures to have their wings clipped and their activities reined in.
“Vulture funds moving to the final option without any genuine engagement with borrowers is wrong and needs to be stopped.”