Posts Tagged ‘Northern Ireland’

Personal Guarantee Settlement £175,000 – £32,000

We recently had a Personal Guarantee Settlement £175,000 – £32,000 for our client.

£175,000 Personal Guarantee called upon by the Bank and proceedings were underway.

If there was a Judgement secured, then our client’s personal assets, including home, could be under serious threat.

We met with the lender. Questioned the validity of the Personal Guarantee and started to negotiate with the legal proceedings held.

Eventually, after full representation the lender accepted full and final payment of £32,000.

Personal Guarantee Settlement £175,000 – £32,000.


If you or anyone you know is facing these issues, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our specialist team who will provide you with the best options available to your specific situation.

If our initial review indicates you have a sound case, and we agree to move forward together, then you are in remarkably safe hands with Bell & Company. We are proud to say that we have the highest success rate in our industry, a record we intend to keep.

Your first consultation with us is completely free and you are under no obligation to proceed with us. However, it involves a thorough financial review and a tactical assessment of your various alternatives. We can assure you, you will leave the meeting with a clear understanding of your options and possible outcomes.

We look back on 2017

Bell & Company reminisce about the year that has passed…

2017 has been a mammoth year for the team here at Bell & Company. As a business, we continue to reach new heights. If we reminisce back to 2016, we remember huge, breaking news, like BREXIT, Donald Trump’s rise to power, Leicester City winning the Premier League to name a few. In 2017, we are 9 years on from the property market downturn of 2008, and we continue to be contacted by those suffering financial difficulty.

The Gala Ball

Earlier in 2016 Bell & Company decided, by unanimous agreement, to select NSPCC NI as charity of the year. Throughout the year, we have strived to carry out as many fundraising events as we possibly can. From dress down days, to our Gala Ball in March, which raised £10,000. The monies raised at the gala ball, and other events NSPCC NI run every year, have a huge impact on the children, adults and families the charity supports.

Terry Bell, Director at Bell & Company, said: “Everyone in attendance had a fantastic time and it was a truly memorable night. Words can’t even express how delighted we are with the funds raised. It costs the charity £12,000 a day to run its NSPCC helpline so the funds raised by our team will contribute greatly ”

Belfast Business Awards

On Friday 26th May 2017,  Bell and company were crowned winners of Customer Service Excellence, Professional Business Service at the Belfast Business Awards hosted by  Belfast Chamber of Commerce.  The category saw fierce competition from industry leaders which further solidifies the achievement in winning. The annual, highly coveted awards ceremony is firmly established as a benchmark for excellence in today’s competitive business environment.

Helping our clients

Financially, a huge story in 2017 was when The Irish Times recently reported that the private equity firm Cerberus, ironically named after the mythical three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades, was moving forward in potentially purchasing some of AIB’s loan book. Here at Bell & Company, we have handled a number of cases where our client had issues surrounding loan sales, and we expect they won’t be the last.

In 2017, we celebrated our 7th year in business. We recognised that throughout these 7 years we have saved our clients up to 85 million pounds.

A word from our Directors

Amanda Bell – “Winning our Belfast Business Award was my personal highlight for 2017, it was great to have our whole team recognised for the excellent customer service they deliver on the daily. A bonus was the amazing feedback we received from the company who conducted the mystery calls for the awards, where we scored 100%!  – For next year we want to continue to provide outstanding financial solutions and ideas for clients, but also maintain the positive working environment that we have here at Bell & Company. Our team motivate one and other allowing all to develop professionally and personally, to meet their own goals”

Terry Bell – “What will 2018 have in store for Bell & Company? On a personal note, we will be changing our Belfast location and leaving our offices on Rosemary Street. We also hope that the banks can continue to have a pragmatic approach to negotiation, and we can continue to develop excellent working relationships. This year we have raised in excess of £13,000 for the NSPCC, and we would like to see this figure exceeding £20,000 by the end of 2018.”

With 2018 just round the corner, we look forward to what comes our way

Our offices will be closed until Tuesday the 2nd of January 2018. We will have sporadic access to emails and live chat throughout the holiday break. Any queries, contact [email protected] and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

Are the banks still lending too much?

The global financial crash of 2008 is widely considered to have been the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression of the 1930s.

Banks went bust, unemployment levels rose and many governments embarked upon austerity measures in an attempt to reduce enormous budget deficits the recession had laden their respective countries with. Earlier this year The Bank of England issued a stark warning that banks are still lending out too much and leaving themselves exposed to a shock in the financial system.

Perhaps the most emotive symptom of the recession, however, was the huge wave of public anger that swept across the continent. The banks, a key figure in the crash thanks to reckless lending, were to be bailed out by the taxpayer. Many people are understandably still angry about this 9 years later and now view banks as untrustworthy, unaccountable entities who are to blame for the effects of the recession that are still being felt today.

The question is, have the banks learned their lesson from the recession?

The evidence would suggest not. The recession was essentially caused by careless and impulsive lending on the behalf of bankers to people who had little hope of paying back what they owed. Every time a new loan was authorised, this created money that needed to be paid back, with the total of money owed eventually spiraling out of control to a point where it was impossible to reclaim what had been loaned out. British taxpayers alone have spent over £1.1 trillion to bail out the banks since the recession happened, and there are ominous signs that the banks may be repeating the same mistakes that caused the financial meltdown of 2008.

Earlier this year The Bank of England issued a stark warning that banks are still lending out too much and leaving themselves exposed to a shock in the financial system. Recent figures show that consumer credit in the UK has risen at a rate of 9.8% because of a boom in credit card and other unsecured loans, with the risk of this being a potential loss of £30bn if loans are unable to be repaid. Banks have consequently begun to set aside excess capital in the event of another economic shock, but such a rise in lending is a worrying sign considering the calamitous repercussions of the recession.

How can we protect ourselves?

To protect yourself and your assets at a time such as this, it’s vital that you carefully consider loans banks may offer you before entering into an agreement with them. Is there a reasonable amount of interest on what you’re being offered? Are the repayments they’re requesting likely to be paid on time? Do you really need the loan? Asking yourself such questions is critical to your financial well-being in a time where it seems the banks haven’t fully learned their lesson.

However, if you have already found yourself in difficult circumstances due to issues such as property debt, or owe a large amount which is putting your assets at risk, it is worth taking a no obligation, impartial, free consultation here at Bell & Company. Call us today – 02895217373

First-time investor left with large shortfall

Bell & Company were contacted by a first time investor who had been left in negative equity on his home.

This was the gentleman’s first time investing in property, and unfortunately, just took out a mortgage at simply the wrong time, and had the possibility of insolvency looming over him.

At Bell and Company, over our years in business we have been able to build a strong relationship not only with clients but a good business relationship with different lenders.

The lender in this case was able to agree on a full and final settlement of £5000, which was fantastic. Although the end result was a great success, the negotiation was not easy. The team at Bell & Company had to develop new strategies to generate the best outcome for the client.

We pride ourselves on our ability to think outside of the box. We can provide strategies and solutions that others wouldn’t consider. Contact us today if you would like to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation on 02895 217 373.

‘Buy-to-Let’ property stress

Bell & Company finalise successful negotiations on a buy-to-let property.

An older couple based in England approached our company regarding a property they had bought to rent as a holiday home in the south of the country. The lender was known to be notoriously difficult to deal with, so this was an ongoing battle between the lender and Bell & Company’s strategists.

When liaising with the client initially it was a mutual decision to put the house on the market, and the couple were left with a shortfall of just over £60000.

Although a substantial amount of money, these “average” shortfalls may be tricky to settle, especially at a low percentage. However, this was not a manageable debt for the couple in question, who were desperate to move on with their lives.

Negotiating with a difficult lender, or one whom may be reluctant to make “deals” can be an extremely lengthy process.  In this instance, however, our clients were in a position to offer £8000 in full and final settlement, just short 10% of the debt.

The couple couldn’t have been any more complimentary of Bell & Company’s professional, yet warm approach, and have now been able to enjoy their retirement without the burden of property debt.

If you find yourself facing issues surrounding property debt, feel free to contact us.

Our team will endeavor to answer your queries within a few hours of receiving your inquiry.  If your query is of an urgent nature you can call our office directly on  02895 217 373 or speak to a member of our team via live chat. We offer a free consultation and full financial review.

Have a read of another example of a buy-to-let case settled by the strategists at Bell & Company.

The Recession, ten years on: how are we affected?

The recession, ten years on: how are we affected?

The recession, ten years on: how are we affected?

The recession began as just another financial crisis on Wall Street. There was an issue with subprime mortgages in America—mortgages given to people who looked to be high-risk lenders, with difficulty maintaining a repayment schedule—which became a bigger and bigger issue as more and more people defaulted on their mortgage. Wall Street had accepted this higher risk, but it was unsustainable. Lehman Brothers, the investment bank, collapsed because of these problems, problems which continued across the globe.

The UK bank, Northern Rock, was caught in the crossfire due to their practice of heavily using the international money markets. When this became known, customers of the bank flocked to take out their savings. Known as a bank run, this essentially drained Northern Rock of its assets and turned it from a healthy company in the morning to one that was facing bankruptcy by the day’s end.

Across the world, countries fell prey to the credit crunch, now recognised as one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression of the 1930s. many were affected, Companies were reluctant to employ new staff, employees were reluctant to accept redundancy, wages stayed stagnant, and the cost of living shot up.

It’s not been an easy road to recovery. The UK government’s insistence on austerity has recently become an unpopular one, quality of living for many have dropped and more and more families becoming reliant on food banks. Mid way through recovery the UK voted to leave the European Union, a move which to date has yet to see benefits, a decision which could throw finances into disarray when the UK officially leaves.

Lord Aidar Turner, who was head of the UK Financial Services Authority between 2008 – 2013, worries that not enough has changed. Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, he warned that the world has not learned from the problems that lead to its problems the first time. Problems like debt overhang, where people and countries are so in debt they can’t borrow any more, are still rife. So much do, the Banks are having to sell on their non-performing loan portfolios in order to recover some if the debt owed.

Recently, AIB is reported to be set to push the button on what they are calling Project Pine. Project Pine is a €300million sale of non-performing loans secured on assets in Britain and Northern Ireland.

To read more on this recent AIB loan sale follow:

Or Read our blog on a previous AIB loan sale and how we can help:

Since the downfall of the markets, in real terms, levels of unemployment have gradually decreased in the ten years since the financial crisis began. Wages have slowly risen, though so has the cost of living which means there is still a gap. House prices have risen, but not to the levels seen pre 2007 and though a lower amount of new houses are coming onto the market people are still wary of taking on a new mortgage and expose themselves to more the risk.

Overall, Debt is still an issue. Even though short-term lenders like Wonga and QuickQuid have been handed new sanctions, debt shows no signs of slowing down. Something which needs to be addressed.

If you are finding yourself in a difficult position due to unaffordable mortgage repayments, the possibility of repossession or fear your mortgage has been sold to a Vulture fund then speak to us today.

We are experts in working with those who are in financial difficulty due to property Debt related issues. Covering Ireland UK and several countries in Europe, our experts have a wealth of knowledge and can negotiate on your behalf to find solutions suited to your situation.


Call 02895217373

Email [email protected]

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RBS’s Global Restructuring Group Apologises

RBS’s Global Restructuring Group apologises to thousands of customers following pressure from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

This is a two-part blog covering the events of RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) ‘misleading’ practices.

In this first release we will look at a brief time line of events and what lead to the public owned Bank to apologise. Next week our concluding blog will consider the practical implications and human cost of GRG’s actions over time.

RBS Failed Consumers

At long last after much coaxing RBS and their GRG Department of old have admitted to ‘failings’. Full-page adverts in the broadsheets with an apology from Ross McEwan the CEO at RBS sees them accepting that they failed “some SME customers”.

Up until the last month RBS totally denied any responsibility at all. Various investigations including an incredibility protracted one by the FCA (with a report still expected in the New Year), came to nothing.

I may be cynical but for only the recent exposure by BBC’s Newsnight, Buzzfeed and the excellent Andrew Verity, then this matter would have stayed on ‘the back burner’. Essentially RBS’s own emails found them referring to ‘dash for cash’ and ‘creating defaults’ and some of Lord Tomlinson’s findings and other aspects of RBS conduct are now being accepted as true.

So, a £400 million provision has been made and RBS is to compensate customers wronged by GRG, over time.  £100 million is being used to run and administer this provision/fund. However, all of this is too late.

People who have and had a valid case may pursue the Bank, but this will undoubtedly be a protracted process which RBS must be very careful in dealing with. Many cases will have passed in to some form of Insolvency and the awards may come from Liquidators and alike. If there is any form of ongoing litigation, then again difficulties will arise. These are just two examples of the challenges faced by claimants here.


A brief timeline of events:


Monumental Consequences

By way of perspective it is essential to remember that 8 years have passed since the crash, and still the new board at RBS are struggling with the consequences of the actions of those at the helm pre-2008. That shows how monumental this was and is – 8 Years!

The FCA has had a difficult task here in trying to tidy up the 2008 crash. That said their report on GRG is still awaited 3 years from its commencement.

So, that is where we find ourselves is this plotted history of GRG to date and surrounding events.

For Part Two Follow The Link Below:

Part 2

Brexit to potentially delay Bank Loan Sales

In recent times, we have been approached by various individuals, businesses and professionals, all of whom have received letters from their primary lender essentially providing them with them with three options as follows:

(a) Pay now in full

(b) Re-finance and pay in full

(c) Failing the above, we will sell to a third party fund

Needless to say, this has caused grave concern for many, particularly as the time frames implemented, along with the options provided, are neither reasonable nor feasible. Recent discussions that we have been party to however have revealed that, as a direct result of Brexit and, indeed, the lingering sense of unknown and uncertainty as to how things will look/operate going forward, there has been complete failure in terms of attracting third party interest for loan purchase.

Previous loan sales have attracted the attention of monumental vulture funds such as Cerberus, Cabot, Loan Star etc. however it would appear that the appetite is non-existent this time round…for now anyway. This means that certain loan sales have been delayed for now which is neither what the Banks wanted, nor what they had planned for. Further communications with the relevant Bank’s have further demonstrated that the Banks are, once again, open to proposals of settlement where addressed forthwith. This welcomes a final opportunity and shot for those, previously threatened with loans sales, to engage with their subject Bank forthwith and to look to put matters to bed once and for all, seeking final settlement and resolution and thus avoiding further delay.


The experience to date with certain loan sales for many Borrowers has been a heightened sense of delay and thus frustration in dealing with matters. We would strongly encourage and, indeed, emphasis to anyone in this position, importance of seeking to deal with matters now rather than putting them on the long finger in which event, the same issues/debts could continue to surround and pressurise months, years even, down the line yet with continued, accruing interest and charges. Why wait – Engage now with a view to finding peace, freedom from the burden of pressuring debt and, indeed, a new beginning!


Call us now in order to discuss your options going forward and to start on the path to resolution

Bankruptcy- What can happen?

Bankruptcy, the “B” word, is feared by many and has negative connotations associated with it. Sadly, we see many Creditors petitions in Court for borrowers being made Bankrupt by their Lender. Perhaps the stigma surrounding Bankruptcy has been reduced since 2008 due to the increase in numbers filing for Bankruptcy but it is still something that many fear and want to avoid at all costs however It can prove to be a useful tool for borrowers whose debts are so significant that there is no route to negotiate with lenders.

Aggressive Creditor’s Petition? What’s the worst that can happen?

You can be made Bankrupt by your lender. It is a lengthy process for the Creditor and does involve cost but nonetheless many will pursue this route to non- responsive debtors. Throughout the process a Creditor must take action to declare the debtor Bankrupt, the debtor will be given every chance to respond. Amicably liaising with a lender can vastly reduce the chance of you being made Bankrupt and also bring about a positive outcome for all parties involved should this be the best option for you.

Should a Creditors Petition be followed through you could find yourself in increased financial difficulty. You may be called for a meeting in the Official Receivers to discuss your finances and they may decide to implement an Attachment of Earnings Order. If this is put in place funds could be taken directly from your monthly salary and distributed to the relevant Creditors. Furthermore, if made Bankrupt your assets could be in significant danger for example, if you have equity in home this asset is in severe risk. Other matters to consider include vehicles, pensions, life insurance policies etc.

Is there such thing as a ‘best case scenario’ in Bankruptcy?

Providing the Client’s circumstances align, Personal Bankruptcy can “clear the decks” allowing the individual the opportunity to start again. We regularly assist individuals going through Personal Bankruptcy and help to alleviate the pressures involved.

Dependant on your personal situation Bankruptcy may not have a serious effect on your day to day life for example, if your home is in negative equity there may be a a high possibility that you can retain this in Bankruptcy once mortgage payments are maintained. Furthermore, an income payment order may not be applicable if there is an undisputed deficit each month. There is also a possibility that you will retain your vehicle, life insurance and pension.

Regardless of best or worst case scenario, Bell & Company can assist in providing the appropriate advice tailored to the debtor’s personal circumstances with a view to establishing your best case scenario.

Contact the team here or call 02895 217 373 to discuss your circumstances and take the first steps towards your fresh start in life.


My Loan Has Been Sold to A Third Party – What does this mean for me?

At Bell & Company, we assist individuals whose original loans have been sold to a third party.

Vulture Funds

An initial reaction from Borrowers whose loans have been sold is that of trepidation.  This attitude is likely brought about by reading articles wherein these third parties being called “Vulture Funds”.  Some firms have outlined the likes of Cerberus and Lonestar as being vulture funds. There is without question the opportunity to resolve defaulted debt accounts and Personal Guarantees.

Many clients, that we are currently assisting in this field, have seen that a loan sale has given them the opportunity to address the issue. The case with many lenders, who sold loan books, is they were previously inundated with cases. These cases required resolving without having the personnel or resources to resolve the matter.

Conversely, a loan purchaser will be looking for a quicker turnaround and a return on their initial purchase which will be a significantly reduced price when compared to the outstanding loan balance, dependent of course on the Borrowers’ surrounding position.

Benefits for the Borrower

Considering this, the benefit for the Borrower is they are dealing with an entity that has the appetite to address the issue and are looking for a return which is significantly less than the overall liability. Essentially, a loan sale gives the borrower a chance to finalise a problematic loan default, Personal Guarantee or debt.

Your third party will be requesting proposals and Bell & Company have the experience on how to structure, present and negotiate any proposal tailored to your current circumstance. Our Corporate department work in this field daily and are changing both the lives of individuals as well as business prosperity. Many successful businesses have been subject to defaulted debt and once resolved the fabric of a successful business can remain.

If you or anyone you know has a personal or business loan, sold to a third party and want professional independent debt advice.

Please call the office today on 0330 159 5820.

Bell & Company always offer a free initial consultation and we look forward to meeting you to outline all the options available.

Could I lose my home?

Could I lose my home?

One thing we understand entirely is that home is sacrosanct to most people thus it is imperative that the situation at home is investigated first and foremost. In many instances, a Borrower/Guarantor’s home will be mortgaged with another lending institution and, as a result of the property crash, there will very rarely be equity in the home thus there is nothing there for lending institutions to pursue/Official Receiver to vest an interest in.

However, each case is different. A lot centers around mortgage balance, current market value and whether there is any equity within the property. A lending institution only can initiate repossession proceedings. if your home has been directly offered as security.

Personal Guarantee

If you have signed a Personal Guarantee, your personal assets are exposed. Any Creditor can seek to realise the equity in any assets relating to you by seeking Judgment and enforcing same thereafter or, alternatively, petitioning for Bankruptcy, even if they have no security.

If there is equity in your home, this will have to be considered in any settlement proposal to ensure that the same is protected. This will often avoid aggressive action than by a Creditor. However, rights are always reserved.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from our services, please call us today on 0330 159 5820.

 We look forward to working with you.


It is coming up to a couple of weeks since the EU Referendum was held and that Brexit was announced. It has been perhaps the most turbulent time in British politics in living memory with party leaders stepping aside or being under severe pressure. Whatever your political views or whether you voted leave or remain the fact is we face a period of instability with very little sound knowledge of the future.

 In respect of property you can almost read an article to suit either markets will be fine or will plummet, you choose the article and your preference.

 Many articles are London-centric, much like the politics pre-referendum and reading those shows that the top end of the property market saw a fall since the result was announced.  It will be interesting to see if this filters down, as we have commented previously the London Property Bubble could burst at any time and perhaps Brexit could be the trigger.

 Looking specifically at Northern Ireland there is far less literature, nonetheless we have found some interesting papers along with comments from associates in our network see the below.


The simple fact is that Property markets do not like uncertainty.

 Speaking with a local estate agent in Belfast Bell & Company were advised there was a slight reduction in supply of property on the market, vendors where awaiting the outcome of the referendum perhaps before making the decision to list their property. In the immediate aftermath the agent advised that on the Friday three sales fell through ranging from the low to top end of the Belfast market. In terms of the supply factor in may take months to see if this downward trend continues and some point to the fact that limited supply (UK wide) may buffer house price decline.

 Another factor to consider is that the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee have now aired views to reduce the already incredibly low interest rate further. This may not happen at next week’s committee meeting but could be on the agenda for August.  Bell & Company at the start of the year commented on how we could only see Interest rates rising, clearly this may not be an option for the Bank of England, but again researching you can find an argument to increase interest rates to assist the strength of Pound Sterling.

 Lower interest rates would mean good news for first time buyers who could benefit from a longer period of interest rates being low than previously anticipated. Also cash buyers could benefit further as Banks may look to tighten lending given we are in a period of increased risk and uncertainty.


Commercial property in Northern Ireland has seen confidence fall. Even when the referendum was announced confidence began to decline. The shock result has seen further delay in property deals with companies holding off until we see increased stability.

 Brain Lavery, Managing Director of highly respect commercial agents CBRE, was quoted in the Belfast Telegraph lately “Until there is clarification on the ramifications of the Brexit vote, developers of new schemes of all types are anticipated to proceed with caution and an eye on how our politicians work together to regain market confidence in a changed landscape”. CBRE commented that compared with this time last year commercial transactions are down by 27%.

 Clearly developers are rattled.

 Realistically, in the long term, no one really knows how Property Markets will be effected. The UK and Northern Ireland (as we stand) is rudderless and until we negotiate an exit from the European Union we do not fully know the ramifications. Surely, the strength of the Pound and Property Markets will be high on the agenda for Osbourne and the new Prime Minister come October and when they negotiate an exit.

 Unfortunately for some the Brexit vote will have little implication on their debt burden. Bell & Company specialise in Residential Mortgage Negative Equity debt assisting borrowers through the process and eradicating their mortgage shortfall debt. We also assist Businesses and Individuals with Corporate Banking Debt. Our excellent team achieved some excellent results in June and we would be happy to discuss these with you either in person or over the phone. Bell & Company offer market leading pre-insolvency advice and we always offer clients a free initial consultation at a location to suit you.

 If you or anyone you know could benefit from our services please call us today on 02895 217373. We look forward to working with you.

** Brexit Update 04/11/2016 **

keep updated with current Brexit news from the BBC by clicking the button below:




As Bell & Company has grown, we have continually looked to add different skills and services which can benefit our clients. Towards the end of 2015, we were asked more and more business-specific queries from clients and how we could assist in improving their business. Accordingly, we are looking to develop a consultancy side of our business.

Our staff have a range of backgrounds:

Whilst it’s all well and good having some letters after your name. There is no substitute for experience, sometimes the theory learned cannot be put into action.

Having developed Bell & Company with just myself and my son James working in a small 2-person office suite to a firm employing 19 Full-Time staff I understand the pressures and rewards when developing business.  I hope to pass on my experiences to other business owners to allow to benefit from my successes and also to learn from my mistakes.

Not only do we have a fantastic variety of personnel to call upon but thanks to our business developing, we have an excellent network of peers who could also benefit your business.

Bell & Company firmly believe that there are some tremendous business owners and businesses in Northern Ireland and by bringing them together we can stimulate business, trade and ultimately the wider Northern Irish economy, which will benefit all.

If you want to discuss anything regarding your business please contact us today, it doesn’t just have to revolve around debt and even if we are not equipped to assist, it is more than likely we will know someone who will.

As ever though, Bell & Company continue to specialise in Corporate Debt Negotiation, Personal Insolvency, Negative Equity Assistance and should you or anyone you know require a free initial consultation to determine your position and options please call the office today on 0330 159 5820.


We are back at Bell & Company HQ on Rosemary Street and geared up for a fantastic 2016.

From all of the team here we sincerely wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope that 2016 will be a successful and prosperous year for you.

From our stand point 2016 looks incredibly exciting. We have many cases for our Resolution, Corporate and Insolvency departments to finalise and complete excellent settlements. We also have a lot of enquiries from potential client’s so early in the year.

There are other external factors we are monitoring also.  This year we anticipate an interest rate rise. When? Who knows! There are so many conflicting reports. We would advise homeowners with mortgages and those with high levels of unsecured credit to consider how much loan repayment increases will affect their income and expenditure on a monthly basis.

The housing market continues to recover, albeit very slowly. Rises seem to be Belfast centric, this is something we will monitor but increases are not rapid enough to assist those in high levels of negative equity.

The Corporate Department are keeping a close eye on Investment Funds such as Cerberus and Lonestar and their increasing activity in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. We have an exciting meeting coming up later this month and this could be defining for dealing with these overseas loan book purchasers.

As always, should you or anyone you know require Independent Insolvency Advice then please call Bell & Company on +44 (0) 2895 217373 today. Our first initial consultation is free so we look forward to welcoming you to Rosemary Street for tea, coffee and a chat about resolving your debt burden.


Cerberus and Ulsterbank- Loan sales- What is going on!?

In late 2014 it was announced that Cerberus had purchased Ulster Bank’s giant non-performing Project Aran loan book. Cerberus paid £1.1bn for Project Aran which has an unpaid loan balance of c£6bn. The transaction completed in the first quarter of this year and Cerberus and Cerberus Capital management have started to work away.

Project Aran consists of 6,200 loans and 5,400 properties with 75% of the loan balance secured in Republic of Ireland and 20% in Northern Ireland, incredibly 90% of this loan book is in default.

Royal Bank of Scotland stated, “The transaction, which represents RWA equivalent of c£1.2bn as at 30 September 2014, is part of the continued reduction of assets in its RBS Capital Resolution division and is in line with the bank’s plan to strengthen its capital position and reduce higher risk exposures.” Perhaps they should have said, we have no means of resolving this debt on behalf of the Bank’s stakeholders and borrowers!

In recent days Cerberus have agreed to purchase another Ulster Bank Portfolio known as Project Rathlin. The transaction involves a purchase price of £205mn with the portfolio valued at £1.4bn.  This purchase falls in line with the Banks continuing efforts to reduce assets and high risk exposure. Project Rathlin has properties across Northern Ireland including substantial defaulted loans and well know properties in Belfast.

It is understood Cerberus are dealing with the highest loan values and that everything will be for sale. It is clear Cerberus are looking for a return on their investment and have set a time frame for 2 ½ years, which is tight given the substantial size of the Project Aran book. Given the tight time frame assets will be sold off a lower price and a typical sale in possession means a sale price of c60% of market value or even less.

Cerberus and Ulsterbank- Loan sales-

Cerberus Capital Management will manage facilities and some Ulster Bank staff have moved across to this department.

After a slow start, Bell & Company understand debtors in Project Aran will soon be receiving relevant letters from Cerberus and those in Project Rathlin further down the line. This will hopefully bring a resolution to this disastrous and long standing loan book.

Call Bell & Company today on 02890 517 047 to discuss your position with Ulster Bank and/or Cerberus. We have an excellent relationship with both the Bank and Cerberus and can work with you to a solution.

Terry Bell – Director

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