From Bill ArmstrongTwo letters in Mortgage Strategy (June 12) castigate Halifax for its poor handling of seemingly straightforward mortgage applications. Mary Lockyer had problems with British Airways staff’s salary confirmations which Halifax could not get its head around no matter how she presented the evidence. Mary, I have done many airline staff mortgages and the last place I would go to with one is Halifax, with its lack of case ownership, click-mouse mentality and lack of access to underwriters. All it seems to want are perfect cases that fit all criteria and do not strain the brains of application openers. I have always placed airline staff with top flight self-cert companies that know and welcome the business. I normally get an offer within 10 days of application. It is a worrying trend to see regulators sneering at self-cert, calling it a cheat’s paradise. In some cases it is the only answer. And who in their right mind would give a lender 100,000 of prime lending all dressed up and ready for take-off and accept a measly 300 (0.3%) in return? The realities of life have yet to be felt in certain quarters – assuming they still want introduced business. But that is a whole new hermetically-sealed metallised container of subterranean invertebrates is it not? And don’t try and slip that sentence past a mouse-clicker as there are far too many long words in it. Bill ArmstrongKendal Streete Mortgage Brokers By emailFrom Mark Sutton I have just read through the latest editions of the trade magazines and you could be forgiven for thinking that Alliance & Leicester had become some sort of saint for announcing that its exit fees will be fixed at the outset of mortgages. Commendable as this may be, we must not lose sight of the fact that these fees lenders charge are far too high and amount to a penalty for clients. I have yet to hear of a lender that has come forward and justified why its clients should be charged up to 295 for someone to press a few keys on a computer, go into a deed store and send the deeds to the solicitor (usually by DX which costs next to nothing). I don’t want to pick on A&L in particular but I was amused by the news item in the June 5 edition of Mortgage Strategy which stated A&L had done some research and found that Brits are prone to sticking with their current lenders. This hardly surprises me when they are being ripped off by lenders’ extortionate arrangement fees at the start of their mortgages and then ripped off again at the end. Even the usually ethical Nationwide is now charging a 699 arrangement fee on some products. I’m sure the Financial Services Authority will eventually get around to looking at the issue of fees but until then lenders will be a law unto themselves in this regard. Mark SuttonAll Status Mortgages By email
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