The Tidal Wave of AIB's Project Ocean Loan sale

AIB have now kick-started a system-wide review of its non-performing loan book, including thousands of family home loans, code-named Project Ocean. It comes as the lender brings its second book of non-performing debt, Project Redwood, to market. AIB are claiming that they are being left with few options to deal with a cohort of borrowers who they claim have been deemed non-cooperative. These borrowers have apparently simply stopped servicing the debt on their family home mortgages, some over a period of many years and the bank claim they have little other choice but to proceed with a loan sale.

It could be argued, however, that based on our experience it maybe in fact the bank itself who may not have engaged in a process to deal with many of these unfortunate debt positions, their customers find themselves in. 

We have certainly noticed a very unwelcome trend developing within AIB over the last few years, where on many occasions it was the bank that appeared to not be in a position to deal with the thousands of borrowers who have fallen into arrears and are in negative equity. It is widely known that like most of the Irish banks, AIB have had many issues to deal with around their non-performing loan books in recent years.  In terms of our own experiences at GDP, we have found it particularly difficult with the constant turnover of staff, having difficulty finding someone to make a decision internally, and often a very unsatisfactory, even unprofessional level of customer service.

A particularly bad experience our own firm had in recent times, which is representative of many of our experiences, concerns a young professional couple we were representing who lived in Dublin. For three full years we did all we could to reach an agreement on an investment property shortfall sale scenario, however still to this day that young family are in significant amounts of anxiety and distress due to an unsecured debt owed to AIB for some €200,000.  The case specifics are straight forward in that we agreed with the bank that the investment property had to be sold, and in doing that we would reach an agreement with the bank on the shortfall amount thereafter. Allowing both bank and customer to get on with their lives.

Our client agreed to all of the requests by the bank and provided the information required which we were led to believe would allow the bank to reach some form of agreement on the shortfall position.  Post the sale of the property and several offers on the shortfall, this continued to be turned down.  However, over the last eighteen months, we have submitted several offers and as of today still no agreement.  In fact it looks now, given what we know of the banks current policy which allows them to deal with their NPL’s via loan sales, this case and many others will be flipped into one of these transactions.

This is most unsatisfactory and extremely disingenuous as many customers who find themselves in this position have been fully cooperative with the bank up to now, helped the bank mitigate shortfalls, and it would be accurate to suggest now factually mislead as they find our their loan is to be sold to a third party.

We are very aware of the banking model over the last few years for them to dispose of their NPL’s via loan sales, however for the most part this comprised commercial loans.  It is only in the last twelve months we are seeing a new trend by Irish banks where they are now going to be also selling private home loans to unregulated private equity funds.  This development is alarming and given our own experience dealing with all of the parties in this space, it is certainly not great news for borrowers.

What can I do now?
If you are an AIB / First Trust Bank account holder (or any other bank) and you fear your loan is about to be sold, it is now imperative that you take action and look at all of the options that might be open to you. 

ASK FOR HELP - Try not to wait any longer, if your loan is to be included in this sale, simply ASK FOR HELP NOW.

It is very important to take advice in this regard from a regulated team of debt advisors to plan for the future.

What we can do to help?
Since 2010, our Loan Sales team, as part of the GDP Partnership family, have had particular expertise in dealing with private equity funds, and we would like the opportunity to share this with you.  As a result, our team are more than ready to engage and assist if you have been affected by this.

Solutions are available and it can be quite empowering once one works out the different options open to them. Our team have significant experience in this area as we have restructured hundreds of millions of pounds worth of loans in the last seven years.  We know what is expected and how to get you to where you want to go.  In short, we WANT to hear from you today.