From time to time, this blog receives confidential complaints about NAMA’s lack of responsiveness in dealing with offers for its properties. Trouble is, NAMA doesn’t control* any real estate property. The real estate property is controlled by either the developer or the receiver that NAMA has had appointed to it. So, it’s no real use contacting NAMA in most instances. If you spot a property on the NAMA foreclosure list, then contact the receiver or the estate agent. If you see a property that you think is “in NAMA” and it’s not on the foreclosure list, contact the developer.
But when it comes to loans, it’s different. Most of you won’t be interested in buying other people’s loans but there is a huge business out there, as reported here before. And occasionally we hear about buyers of loans complaining of not being acknowledged or responded to by NAMA. In the case of loan sales, it is NAMA and only NAMA that controls the loans.
So what do you do if you’re not getting a response?
This week in the Dail, the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance what potential buyers of loans should do if they don’t get a response from NAMA. It isn’t 100% clear what the response is, because the Minister seems to be inviting Deputy Doherty to lobby NAMA on a private transaction, which doesn’t seem right. Alternately, the Minister means that potential buyers of loans should contact the Head of Asset Management at NAMA, John Mulcahy , directly.
And NAMA has sold €2.5bn of loans by reference to par value so far.
The parliamentary question and response are here:
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will outline the procedure used by the National Asset Management Agency when approached by a potential buyer of loans controlled by the Agency, and specifically the way it deals with a specific multi-million euro offer for loans; if NAMA has time targets for acknowledging or responding to such approaches; and if there is no acknowledgement or response, if potential buyers have alternative routes to convey offers to NAMA.
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: I am advised by NAMA that approaches by third parties in relation to possible loan sales are dealt with expeditiously by reference to the complexity of the offer received and the debtor connection and loan portfolio in question. In assessing any loan purchase offer, NAMA’s key criterion is whether the proposed transaction makes financial sense for the taxpayer. If so, and if NAMA believes that those making the offer have the financial capacity to deliver on it, NAMA then appoints loan sales brokers to market the loans and to deal with offers from the original bidder and other interested parties. The timing of a sales transaction will be geared towards ensuring that the Agency maximises the value of the loans and therefore the return to the taxpayer. I am advised that NAMA has, to date, sold loans with par balances of €2.5 billion and that parties interested in making serious and realistic bids for loan portfolios are welcome to submit offers to it. If the Deputy is aware of any serious and realistic loan purchase bid made by a credible investor which has been submitted to NAMA but not evaluated by the Agency, I would suggest that he brings it to the attention of the Head of Asset Recovery, NAMA.
* NAMA actually controls itself directly €7m of property which it has acquired as a result of personal guarantees. This includes art and real estate property.