According to the Central Bank's Statistics released earlier today, approximately €1.2billion of outstanding credit card debt in Ireland includes an element of interest. Essentially, these credit cards are in default, with interest accruing on the balance due.
This statistic is of significant relevance in light of the Sunday Business Post's article which broke the story that Danske Bank is to sell off the unsecured debt of thousands of borrowers. This includes unpaid credit card bills, overdrafts and personal guarantees. Will other banks follow suit? Undoubtedly they will.
This may be bad news for some consumers whose debts will now be packaged with other unsecured debts for sale. Vulture funds and debt collection agencies will likely pay a fraction of the price for these debts. They will then step into the shoes of Danske (and other banks) and pursue the full value of the debt from the borrowers. This will inevitably lead to enforcement action being taken by those purchasers against borrowers.
If you have received a letter or communication from your bank of its intention to sell your debt or guarantee then actively engage with your relationship manager. There may be a tight window of opportunity to negotiate your debt or come to some sort of deal with the bank.
This publication is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Leman Solicitors for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this publication. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. Any and all information is subject to change.
Approximately €1.2 billion of outstanding credit card balances included an accrued interest component. Chart 3 provides a breakdown of interest-bearing balances as a percentage of credit card limits. This shows that 9 per cent of cards have exceeded their credit limit while 37 per cent had balances between 76 and 100 per cent of their respective credit limit. This proportion has remained virtually unchanged over the past year, although there has been a small decline in the number of personal credit cards in issue during the same period.