Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's Only Money, SOS

I was shocked to read another article today in the Irish Independent. It makes for very serious reading, I quote:

"The property industry is already reeling from the suicides of at least 29 developers which the Irish Property Council (IPC), an organisation that has campaigned for reform of Ireland's debt laws, says can be directly linked to the recession."  Article here.

Is that not appalling?

My God I feel awful about this.  Yes, we the public are upset with the economic situation. Yes, we the public are upset with the way these things were handled by banks and by the government and by property developers: the greed, the profiteering, the one-up man ship, the desire to keep up with the Joneses next door. 

But for goodness sake people, it's only money.  Let the banks sing for it, they took the gamble.  Let developers declare bankruptcy and survive on a lot less per day. Families will still love, friends - most of them - will still play golf.  This is a dark time in the economy but it's not worth a life.  Yes some people should be imprisoned but we as a nation cannot make life so bad for the culprits that we drive them to suicide.  We just cannot. 

And so soon after National Suicide Prevention Week.  Click here for more info on SOS.  Suicide or Survive. 

God bless the families of the 29 men who saw no other option. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Small Rant about Banks, Mortgages and The Code

Did you see this today?   Article from the Irish Independent about how the banks are making a proposal to the Financial Regulator about the existing Mortgage Code.  The code is there to protect mortgage owners, and in the bank's opinion, it protects them too much!!  I'm so mad right now. 

Basically, the banks want to propose a new code, which wouldn't allow mortgage holders to play the system as much as they might at the moment.  They suspect that people who can afford to make their repayments are defaulting in order to (a) hold onto their tracker mortgage, and/or (b) not get their house repossessed.  Does that make sense to you?  Surely if you are worried about getting your house repossessed you cannot afford to make your repayments?  I'm confused, lads. 

If you sign up for a mortgage, you are taking a gamble. Should you fix? What if the rate goes down and you miss the opportunity to pay less?  If it goes up you're singing.  I call that a gamble.  You're second guessing what could happen in the future.   If you go for a variable, you take a gamble that it might go down an interest rates along with corresponding repayment amount fluctuations will go in your favour.  But like any gamble, it might not - it might go up, you might be screwed. 

A tracker is no different.  You pay over the odds, agree a rate to pay your bank over and above the standard ECB rate, and you track the ECB rate for the duration of your mortgage: happy out.  If the ECB goes up, you're in a spot of bother, if it goes down, you're OK.  If it stays the same - as it is rumoured to do, until at least the end of 2011 - you're OK.  If you can make the repayments and haven't lost your job/received a massive pay cut, that is. 

What the banks are proposing, is that the protection that the Mortgage Code affords mortgage holders, be diluted.  Right now, if you are in arrears and make a deal with a bank to give a different repayment scheme a go, you are protected (for a year) from the bank approaching you for repossession.  The banks are concerned that people are going to take advantage of this rule and continue breaking each new agreement after 51 weeks or so, and continue to protect themselves for a further year.

What the frick is wrong with that???  I ask you!!  The banks have taken advantage of every rule they possibly can in order to stay afloat, over the last 2 years especially. They have been doing it in fact for years.  Big companies play the system & get away with it, and when a small company tries to do it they get screwed.  We own the banks now for fcuk sake, they cannot possibly get away with trying to screw us some more.  We are their saviours for Christ's sake!

In my humble opinion, just because the tracker rates are not in their favour right now does not mean they can go and reverse the binding agreement they have with us.  Tough shit lads, you're long overdue a right rollicking.  If the tables were reversed you can bet your butt they wouldn't be off chasing us going "Oh I'm terribly sorry, we seem to be making an unfairly large amount of money off you at the moment, please have some back with our compliments." You bet your sweet ass they wouldn't.  Tough shit lads, stop trying to screw the people who are already fcuking bailing you out, from every conceivable angle.  Fcuk the lot of you.  BANKERS.