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Certain lenders hide behind data protection regulations

From Ian A Moore

Lenders appear to be hiding behind data protection rules.

I am arranging new purchases for two clients, for whom I arranged original mortgages with the Halifax and Abbey. As both clients are currently in tie-ins it was prudent to arrange the increases with their existing lenders while porting their original deals to the new properties.

Both solicitors received redemption statements from the lenders showing early redemption penalties payable (in each case they should not apply) and so came back to me to ask that I contact the lenders for revised statements. I contacted Halifax and Abbey and was told to speak with their existing lenders’ redemptions departments.

So, I inform the person who answers the phone what I want them to do but as I have “no authority” to discuss the existing accounts, the request for correct redemption statements has to come from either the client or solicitor. This is due to “data protection”. Despite me being the original broker, subsequently advising on the new mortgages and having all the information on file, I am frozen out.

Why is it not possible to automatically give authority on an existing account when that account is part of the new transaction?

Also, why is it impossible for a new business department to liaise with a redemeptions department to get the correct information in the first place?

Why is it that lenders such as Accord Mortgages and Standard Life Bank manage to remember who I am and give me information on my clients but the likes of Abbey and Halifax make my life difficult by hiding behind the Data Protection Act? Is it because they want to cut me out of the loop whereas Accord and SLB get business primarily from brokers?

Has anyone tried to fax a signed letter of authority to a lender only to be told, “Fax it again,” or, “Hasn’t been scanned yet. Call back tomorrow”?

Lets have some consistency.

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