Following on the boom of the French Property Leasebacks in the early 2000’s where VAT on building costs was reimbursed to purchasers who made their properties available to rent to foreign tourists for a period of twenty years, the bust cycle started in 2009 and is now arriving on Irish shores.
A number of French banks have either sold the rump of those loans to vulture funds. Both the banks and the vulture funds have now started to pursue the borrowers in Ireland, often following sales of the underlying assets in France.
Many questions arise over the unfair and unequal treatment of Irish citizens versus their French counterparts.
In France the threshold for obtaining Judgment against borrowers and the obligation to engage with borrowers appears to be minimal.
Very few, if any, Irish borrowers will have been invited to mediate with the banks despite many loan offers offering mediation. It remains to be seen what protections the Irish Courts will afford Irish borrowers from French banks or vulture funds as these cases begin to hit Court.
Copyright © Robert Browne May 2021
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