View more on these topics

Ignore A&L warnings at your peril

I ignored the siren warnings and hit the rocks of Alliance & Leicester’s specialist lending unit, and I’d like to know if you’ve had a similar experience, says Sue Read

It was half term last week. I had two days off and found myself in a quandary. I’ve racked my brains for some positive news to bring you but as my three days in the office were especially fraught, I fear I’m going to be my usual Meldrewian self.

If you’re lucky, something upbeat will come to me. In the meantime, having lately succeeded in finding a human side to the mighty Halifax, last week I hit the siren-protected rocks of Alliance & Leicester’s specialist lending unit. My colleague James had recently sent it a buy-to-let case and was having considerable difficulty getting this through. I smugly showed him a letter in Mortgage Strategy from a broker having similar problems.

In spite of the warning signs – which I ignored because my client needed the maximum possible loan based on his estimated rental income – I too was seduced into sending it a buy-to-let application. The other brokers’ cases were probably complicated whereas mine was relatively straightforward – or so I thought. My ears were deaf to the siren wails of those who’d dashed themselves on these rocks before.

My case was urgent, and at first things seemed to go swimmingly. I smiled inwardly when comparing notes with James. Pride comes before a fall, they say.

Anyway, we were soon told that the valuation was in and the case was ready to go to offer but that A&L needed proof of residency for one applicant. I should tell you that one of the other reasons I recommended A&L was that these clients hold their main residential mortgage with it. I had naively thought that this would speed up the underwriting a tad.

After heated exchanges which ended in me being uncharacteristically lost for words, I conceded defeat. Because Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited is also involved in A&L’s buy-to-let business it seems that A&L could not confirm that the client lives where she says she lives.

But I was told if the clients requested a mortgage statement, paid for it, received it through the post, brought it in to me, I copied it, certified it and sent it back to A&L, that would do.

To cap it all I was then told that proof of this residency would be required on both a present and a 12-months’ ago basis. In spite of vociferous objections that in my experience this was highly unusual, I caved.

In the end we supplied bank statements. We faxed them on Monday and posted them, only to be told on Wednesday that A&L wouldn’t work from faxes. I got a concession on that by asking it to underwrite and hold offer papers pending receipt of our original copies.

Fantastic? No. Nobody had read the valuation report. The valuer’s rental income was lower than anticipated. We’d been told a week before that it was ready to offer. So now our clients have to find extra thousands and pay interest as they will miss the completion deadline. I know they are partly to blame for leaving their application so late but the only positive thing I can say is that the offer is on its way.

Have you had a similar experience with A&L? I’d like to know.

Recommended

Protection tools for Charcol

Lifequote is providing John Charcol with individual protection systems for the brokerage’s four businesses. This is the first time Lifequote’s protection tools have been rolled out across online, telephone and face-to- face systems in a single business. John Charcol, John Charcol Associates, Charcol Direct and Charcolonline now have individual protection systems with online applications for […]

Only 1% of homeowners will be effected by interest rate rise

Research carried out by the Personal Finance Research Centre and supported by Genworth Financial has found that just 1% of mortgage borrowers will be affected by an interest rate rise. The research also found that the chance of a person loosing their job is potentially a far greater threat, with a quarter of all households, […]

LMS reports success of packager service

The new remortgaging service developed specifically for packagers by LMS is proving to be a success, with more than 13 packagers already signed up.Packagers who have signed up to use the LMS system include AToM, Clear Mortgage Administration, Just Mortgage Packaging, KGB Packaging, Mortgage 1, Mortgage 2000, Mortgage Bureau (UK), Mortgage Next, Niche Mortgage Solutions, […]

Accord Mortgages launches second phase of its integration with Trigold

Accord Mortgages has launched the second phase of its integration with Trigold with the creation of a seamless online connection for full mortgage applications through Trigold’s E-trading centre. With over 50 leading lenders able to receive online applications via the E-trading centre, Trigold is the undisputed leader in mortgage trading and the E-Trading Centre is […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up