Offaly TD calls for Minister to protect people from vulture funds
Offaly TD Carol Nolan is calling on the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohue, to create a legal immunity from sale to vulture funds of family farm holdings.
Speaking from Leinster House Deputy Nolan stated that she is “greatly concerned about recent reports that farm holdings may be included in forthcoming vulture fund sales.”
Nolan was referring in particular to the proposed sale by AIB Group of a non-performing loan portfolio to Everyday Finance, as part of a consortium arrangement with affiliates of Cerberus.
It is understood that no dwellings are included in the proposed sale but a limited amount of farmland is. Carol stated that “there are still many uncertainties regarding the regulation of fund owners as overseas funds are beyond the reach of Central Bank control."
"My greatest concern is that fund managers may increase interest rates, and as they are overseas this puts them beyond Central Bank jurisdiction. Many farm holding sizes in Ireland are small and barely viable. The forfeiture of lands which cannot meet re-structured loan service requirements will fracture holdings and diminish the income yielding asset, which may place the family home at further risk," she continued.
"I will be asking Minister Donohue to exhaust every possible mechanism to retain farm debt entirely within the regulatory jurisdiction of the Central Bank as well as examining options for re-financing debt via Credit Unions.”
It is estimated that up to 2,500 farm families are currently in negotiation with vulture funds to retain their holdings.
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