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New Beginning has plans to buy 14,000 mortgages

Ross Maguire

The New Beginning group is aiming to buy 15,000 mortgages from lenders in a plan that will help distressed borrowers.

It will meet lenders this week for talks on its proposal, which would see distressed borrowers being given the option of renting their homes.

They would have the right to repurchase the property if their circumstances improve.

"We have started the process and meetings with lenders are scheduled for this week," said barrister Ross Maguire, one of the co-founders of New Beginning.

"We are very keen to be well-developed on this by the end of the year."

Mr Maguire said the group had received feedback from all the main players, except one, after a formal proposal on the mortgage-to-lease scheme was sent to banks earlier this month.

He pointed out that the proposal would replace banks' non-performing loans with performing bonds.

"That cleans up their balance sheet and they don't have to manage the properties," he said.


The debt advocacy group has indicated that it has a "funding pipeline" to buy up to 30,000 mortgages if banks support its proposals.

New Beginning was set up in 2010, and it lobbies the Government as well as providing personal insolvency and bankruptcy services.

A Bank of Ireland spokeswoman told the Herald the proposal was "being assessed and will be given due consideration".

Ulster Bank said it had "yet to meet New Beginning on the proposals, but will give full consideration to it as and when we do".

KBC said it would respond to New Beginning once the proposal had been considered.

Permanent TSB said it was "studying the proposal".

An AIB spokeswoman said: "As per standard governance and practice, AIB will consider the terms of this commercial transaction using the same criteria as we would for any other such commercial transaction, but mindful of the duty of care we owe to our family home mortgage customers in particular".