Permanent TSB to sell almost 11,000 mortgages to 'vulture fund'

Permanent TSB has confirmed the sale of almost 11,000 non-performing mortgages to a vulture fund.

The portfolio is being bought by Start Mortgages for €1.3bn from the bank.

It includes 3,300 buy-to-let properties, and 7,400 owner-occupier homes.

The average time the loans have been in arrears is three and a half years.

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has said Start Mortgages must come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee to outline how they will deal with customers in arrears.

Deputy McGrath commented, "Portfolio loan sales such as this are the easy way out for the banks as they strive to reduce their level of non-performing loans.

"It would be much better if Permanent TSB dealt with the loans itself and made case by case decisions involving restructuring the loans, writing off debt in some cases and only taking enforcement action as a last resort.

"While it is a positive at least that Start Mortgages is a regulated entity, there will be understandable concern among affected borrowers given its background as a sub-prime lender and the fact that it is owned by giant US vulture fund Lone Star.

"A key question is whether Start Mortgages will now offer a wide suite of restructuring solutions to borrowers in arrears."

"Lone Star has refused on several occasions over this past eighteen months to come before the Oireachtas Finance Committee. Having bought these loans, they now have an obligation to come before us and explain what their strategy is for managing them," he said.

Digital Desk

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