TMB technical error causes arrears

The Mortgage Business says problems with arrears that clients were not responsible for were down to human errors during systems migration.

Andrew Forsey, principal of Andrew Forsey Financial Services, contacted Mortgage Strategy to say two of his clients had been declined a new mortgage with another lender as they were shown as having missed a payment in the past 12 months with their current lender, TMB.

Forsey says: “The problems occurred during TMB’s switch to a new computer system.

“In certain cases the full monthly payment was not taken. No arrears letters were sent out so a client could not have known unless they checked their bank statement.”

TMB says the problem was caused by an error in setting up a BACS number, which meant direct debits were not called for over a period of up to three months on a number of customers’ accounts.

The lender says this created technical arrears on the accounts in question but that most of these accounts were normalised by May 2004.

Bill Dudgeon, managing director of TMB, says: “We apologised to customers who were affected and gave them three options to bring their mortgages up-to- date. They were offered the choice of paying the arrears, capitalising the amount not collected or making additional payments over a number of months.”

Dudgeon says TMB also informed credit reference agencies to ensure the missed payments would not adversely affect customers’ credit ratings.

Dudgeon adds: “It would appear that in the case of Forsey’s clients this did not work, but the missed payments showing on customers’ accounts will be rectified immediately and the appropriate people at the new lenders will be notified.”