Election Year : The following opinion is offered in the public interest. -Eds
Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Tue, 1 Mar 2016 at 4:17 p.m.
Your correspondent thought it useful to perform some financial excavation and unearth those precious first mortgage numbers that Graham Crombie and Mayor Dave Cull refuse to reveal in respect of the Noble Subdivision. They are the key to what Delta will eventually receive for its official $24M + debt on Noble. Your correspondent worked on the premise that if Delta is trying to hide something, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find at all. Your correspondent was not disappointed.
As they say in Delta out on the site, it was a good day, the ground was soft and the going was good. It didn’t take too long at all to get to the RL of the matter. (RL = Reduced Level…. excavator talk).
But inevitably, as is the fashion of these #EpicFail posts, there is evidence of continuing Delta stupidity, and yet another clumsy attempt to hide the facts from the ratepayers of Dunedin.
Your correspondent has long been curious about the first mortgagee at Noble Subdivision. Who they were, how much they were owed, what was their plan to exit out of this mess. Various entities had been mentioned in the media, but the company is Gold Band Finance. This is a tiny finance company : it has just $15.6M in TTA (Total Tangible Assets), and in August 2013 this one loan – in default – represented 21.30% of their total assets. Only 29% of the company’s lending is in property, and Noble was 70% of this. If Noble turned sour, this company was gone.
As it was, Gold Band breached their trust deed every year from 2009 until 2014 as a result of Noble, and twice had to pull its prospectus and not accept funds because the Trustee was so concerned about its position that it wouldn’t give Gold Band a waiver because the trust deed breaches were so serious.
(Memo To Delta Directors – Find that Trustee and appoint him as an auditor).
Gold Band then in August 2013 decided it needed to get most of this paralysed elephant off its back, so it could continue breathing and operating. Thus it sold part of its first mortgage debt…. to Delta.
Now the usual course of events is that when banks or finance companies are under pressure and want to sell distressed loans, they do so at a discount. That is, just as an example…. The face value is, say, a few million, the borrower is a deadbeat and hasn’t paid anything for years, the loan is in default and the neighbours are suing him for unconsented work (sound familiar ?). The seller would grab 50-60 cents in the face value dollar with both hands and “move on”, to borrow a term from the Cull lexicon.
Typically on land / development projects, a first mortgage will go no more than 40-50% of Loan to Value ratio (LVR) : But Gold Band had assessed the LVR at 71%, so even the first mortgage was far into the red zone. We will return to this in a later post.
From this, what a person of greater than room temperature IQ would say : “Dear Gold Band, I like the cut of your jib, the quality of your borrower and prospects of this mortgage. This (broken) mortgage is a bargain at full value ! Where do I sign ?!
This correspondent can hear the collective ratepayers’ prayer, “Do not say it… no, please do not say Delta paid full value” ….Readers, Delta did not pay full value. It paid more.