Archive for March, 2016


Borrowers are now being put on notice of the imminent loan sale of their portfolios contained within their SME Recoveries Department.

Bank issues have been well chronicled but continue to unfold bought to light recently with Ulster Bank announcing they’re selling the lower part of their loan book known most recently as SME Recoveries.  Ulster Bank have been engaging in piece meal sales of their loan portfolios since late 2014. This has ultimately involved sale transactions to foreign investors and has resulted in the closure of several Ulster Bank Departments as well as the disposal of multiple staff.

The strict deadline of 31st March 2016 has been imposed by which stage Borrowers must make full, detailed and substantiated proposals to the Bank.

In the event that this is not adhered to/should an agreement failed to be reached, then the subject loans shall be packaged into said loan sale and sold off to an entity yet to be determined… This often results in loss of control, uncertainty & paralysis for any Borrower, be they individuals or businesses, in terms of next steps and reaching a place of ultimate closure.

This sale brings new players to the field whose objectives are purely short term. This does not fit in with farming objectives and views taking a longer term perspective. It is a concerning time for farmers whose loans could be sold.

It is imperative to not sit and wait for things to happen but instead be proactive. Diversification is becoming more and more vital in the industry and farmers are urged not to rely on one product or source of income. With this change, people must become far more realistic in their approach and this may even mean that previously sacrosanct land may need to be sold.

If your loan has been sold by Ulster Bank then you should prepare yourself for heated discussions in the future. In preparation, consider this short list:

  1. Look for alternative forms of finance
  2. Determine your legal position and status of your security
  3. A Root and Branch review of land or assets held including any rights or issues. It is essential you undertake this review yourself to understand this rather than rely solely on your Solicitor’s input.
  4. Undertake an up to date financial review ASAP
  5. Perform a SWOT analysis of your current position.

Armed with the above you can fully assess your position with the lender.

Bell & Company undertake this form of work across all industries, we negotiate with Banks on the borrower’s behalf. The appointment of a third party is essential and this brings a pragmatic thought process, knowledge and experience to discussions. When a lender and borrower communicate directly it is often disbelieving one another. Obviously, an advisor would act solely on your behalf and they assist greatly through a difficult and emotional period. Armed with the best advice allows you to plan for the future.  Helen Mc McCarragher, Corporate Manager in Bell & Company states “It is inevitable that those who are pro-active rather than re-active shall achieve the best results and shall be the first to reach a place of final resolution.”


We would urge anyone with loans in this Department to make provisions to discuss their options going forward. Bell & Company offer a free consultation for anyone who wishes to make headway in becoming proactive in a bid to protect what is important to them.

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Bell & Company – What We are Best At

Whilst we continue to look at new avenues of business at Bell & Company our core competencies will remain the same and be based on our mantra of “professional personal insolvency advice”. We offer our clients pre and post insolvency options.

Corporate Department

Our Corporate teamwork with business owners across Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland who are suffering some form of Corporate Debt Issue. The team have assisted borrowers with Personal Guarantee’s, Debt restructuring and in more recent times those whose loans may have been purchased by overseas equity funds.

Resolution Department

The Resolution department assist borrowers who are suffering mortgage regulated debt. Particularly, homeowners in Negative Equity. The team work on this day in day out and understand all the protocol and processes that different lenders use. They have also developed excellent rapport with certain lenders allowing them to achieve results which often vastly improve the financial wellbeing of many homeowners in Northern Ireland.

The team is managed by William Davey who is vastly experienced in the field. William works closely with some of our younger staff to bring them on and assist clients daily.

Insolvency Department

Our Insolvency Department assist borrowers with unsustainable debt through Personal Bankruptcy. Although often the last choice in the process Bankruptcy, armed with the correct advice, can be a useful tool. Leah and her team understand all the ramifications of Personal Bankruptcy in Northern Ireland and can liaise with you from the outset how the process will work and how and what will be affected. We will attend all hearings with you to ensure the process is as pain free as possible.

Despite the obvious negative connotations associated with going Bankrupt Bell & Company find our clients feel a relief and weight off their shoulders once the process is complete.

Bell & Company

We are very proud of our team and the services we provide and believe Bell & Company are the leading in this field in Northern Ireland.

Should you or anyone you know require any of the services above please call our office on 0330 159 5820 to arrange your free initial consultation. Alternatively, you can read our brochure for some further information about Bell & Company.

There is no obligation to sign up but often after a consultation you will have some direction in what is required to settle your debt burden. We look forward to welcoming you.

Terry Bell


Name: Erin Weatherstone

Position: Personal Assistant

Time with Bell & Company: 10 months

What does your day to day role entail?:

My day to day role as Personal Assistant for Bell & Company is very varied. I proactively manage, organise and ensure directors are prepared for appointments and activities across Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and the UK and help co-ordinate director travel arrangements and work with our marketing team on co-ordinating our in house corporate events.

I am also the first point of contact for Terry Bell, our Principal Director, working closely with him on a daily basis to ease his workload and I also liaise with the rest of the management, teams and clients to manage the diary.  Since starting at Bell and Company over 10 months ago my responsibilities have grown. I have taken on varied roles which now include monitoring the office Data Protection to ensure all our Clients information is being kept secure and we are compliant with the Data Protection Act. My newest tasks have included Business Continuity Planning to ensure Bell and Company are prepared for any eventuality that may affect our day to day running so we can always be here and available for our clients.

What do you enjoy most about your position?:

There isn’t a day that goes by at Bell and Company that is the same and this makes for a very interesting and varied role. Although my main role is to work with our Director Terry I often get to work within the other teams to keep my role engaging and refreshing. I am very grateful to work for people who genuinely value the work that I do and this is often rewarded. Bell and company are a very supportive family based business who value their team as much as their clients and long may my role here continue to flourish and grow with their support.

Spare time activities:

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family as I have 2 very young sons who keep me on my toes. I also have a passion for baking, as this lets my creative side show through and I am often found baking and decorating cakes for family and friends when family allows and asking the team to be my guinea pigs.

Contact Details:

Erin Weatherstone

[email protected]

Direct Dial: 02895 217376

Mobile: 07845 287141

Business for breakfast- Newry

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A question we hear a lot from potential client’s in their initial consultation is why can’t I do this myself?

In short there is nothing stopping you attempting to liaise with your creditor yourself. We find it unlikely you will attain the same level of success than if you appointed an intermediary, like Bell & Company.

Making Representations.

Firstly, when making representations many lenders will merely respond with “well you would say that”. By appointing an intermediary, lenders will respect all submissions. Which will be professionally presented and complete. Whereas, doing it alone will mean information is often missed and can slow the process.

Bell & Company has an accountancy background and the presentation of our proposals carries weight and is respected by lenders.

Do you have time?

Another reason to appoint an intermediary, is time.

Do you have time to call a lender and be on the phone for 30 mins to discuss some smaller issues?

Do you have time to prepare a financial statement and provide supporting documentation whilst being able to analyse and therefore justify your proposal? We do this work daily and take the time so you can concentrate on normal matters whilst resting assured your case is being handled.

Dealing with lenders

Bell & Company understands how different lenders work. Not every lender has the same processes and protocols which you are required to meet in order to achieve an amicable settlement. As stated about we do this day in day out and are constantly aware of any changes in processes a lender may undertake and also the levels they will work to. This allows us to work quickly, smartly and effectively to obtain the best results possible.

Debt can be Emotional

Finally, debt is incredibly emotional. There is no hiding from this fact. The emotion of the situation can often cloud your judgement and you will often go into a negotiation situation over aggressively.

Furthermore, the Bank understand you are emotional and will look to perhaps “trip you up” in a conversation and use the emotion to their advantage. Appointing the likes of Bell & Company removes the raw emotion from the situation. Our team cares passionately about our clients and will always do our utmost to get the best result possible.

We approach negotiations pragmatically and can have better dialogue with the lender on your behalf.

Should you or anyone you know find yourself in a situation requiring insolvency advice or debt negotiation then please call Bell & Company today on 0330 159 5820.

We will invite you to attend a free initial consultation at our office or a location to suit you. Our advisers will outline the benefits of our services and give examples of our results previously achieved. We look forward to assisting you.

Terry Bell


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.

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