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Short notice changes drive me mad

You may recall that my family is addicted to roller coaster rides. I’d never describe myself as an adrenaline junkie so I’m usually the one looking after the bags. Yet the mortgage industry can be something of a roller coaster – you swing from high to low on a regular basis.

Recently I met a client whose income is drawn from various sources, making it tricky to find a lender able to provide the borrowing she needs. Well, tricky is an understatement – it was pretty much impossible. There was only one lender able to help but luckily it offered a competitive rate.

I contacted the client and gave her the good news. She was finalising negotiations through her estate agent and although affordability was tight, the num- bers were acceptable. All we had to do was wait for the offer to be accepted and we’d be ready to rock.

I spoke with the agent and he confirmed the offer had gone through. My client works until 2pm so I decided to wait until she finished work to let her know. That was at 11.45am.

At 12.10pm my colleague announced that he had just received an email from the lender I was going to use – the only lender able to help. Due to unprecedented levels of business it had decided to withdraw the deal my client needed.

My initial thought was I’d have to get something submitted by close of play that day but my colleague told me I had until 1pm.

I began to panic. My whole office – all three of us – swung into action. We called the lender’s BDM and intermediary sales unit, logged onto its website and inputted advisory codes.

We had strong words with the unit about the lack of notice, which surely failed to comply with Treating Customers Fairly. How on earth could any broker meet this deadline?

By the time we logged onto the lender’s system we had 20 minutes. With the client at the end of the phone, and fortunately with a 15-minute extension to the deadline granted to all brokers, not just to us, we keyed-in the application in principle and converted it into a full application by 1.05pm.

There were sighs of relief all round. We were happy, the client was happy and so was the agent.

But yet again lenders give brokers a ridiculous deadline to meet. I know their side of the story but I cannot agree that such changes are fair. So lenders, don’t bite the hands that feed you. I enjoyed the rush of that afternoon but my blood pressure didn’t.


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