The scandal of the ordinary people allowed to own homes

From Nigel Grinstead and Jeff Cureton-Royal

Self-certification mortgages should be banned. Why should people who can&#39t prove what they earn down to the last penny should be allowed to own a home? They should immediately apply for PAYE jobs and stop earning money that isn&#39t declared. If they work in restaurants where they are given tips they should issue each customer with a VAT receipt and retain a copy for the authorities. People running their own businesses should only declare income based on the lowest annual earnings over three years discounted by 20% to allow for a possible downturn. Better still, of course, they should sell their businesses and become employees.

It&#39s ridiculous that a person who wants to borrow 70% or less of the property value and who has met a similar commitment for the past five years should expect to obtain a new mortgage. Just because they have a record of meeting commitments, they think they can willy-nilly change to another lender. Ridiculous.

And lenders must only lend to people who are totally safe and on properties where there is absolutely no risk. We could call it the new risk and reward theory – take no risks, get high rewards. After all, if you ask self-cert lenders they will all tell you that their business is risky and costly, with high arrears repossessions levels. Most are struggling. Why these lenders stay in the market at all is a mystery.

And brokers who say to someone who has a non-provable income: “To afford this mortgage your total income needs to be around £35,000 – is that reasonable?” should immediately be thrown out of the MCCB. After all, everyone with non-provable income really knows exactly what they&#39ve earned – and what they will earn over the next three years. After all, if they don&#39t, they shouldn&#39t be in business or sales, or earn extra income in their spare time, or be on performance bonuses. And clients always, of course, tell the truth about everything – most especially things that cannot be proved. We&#39ve never known a client to lie. Chuck these brokers out, we say.

Yes, ban self-cert mortgages. Let&#39s go back to the good old days of the 1960s. The only exceptions, of course, would be mortgages for journalists. These fine, upstanding, scandal-hating members of the community with their quiet professionalism and endeavour in search of the unbiased truth and selfless disregard for readership and viewing figures, should be treated as a special category with their own deals. And because they&#39ll be paying the interest themselves, we could call them self-interest mortgages.

Nigel Grinstead and Jeff Cureton-Royal

Abacus Mortgages

Billinghurst

West Sussex