Knock Knock!

No, not the beginning of a joke………it’s the ever increasing sound of heads banging against a wall in frustration.

This new sound is destined to gather volume in coming weeks rapidly overtaking the wailings of politicians on the hustings.

Fear not, I have no intention of talking politics but merely pointing up the daily tribulations of intermediaries dealing with some major mortgage lenders in the current climate.  

As staff reductions and amalgamations occur, teams of underwriters, with whom you have built up solid relationships and understanding, are being replaced by  telephone ‘no can do’ teams (some many miles away) and who, in most cases, are to put it bluntly, not helpful in the slightest. 

In fact, one of my poor colleagues has beaten her head against a brick wall for the last four days to be constantly told “we are within our 48 hour service standards.”  Are you kidding?

Or perhaps they mean 48 working hours, so nearly seven business days?

In fairness, it is not the person on the end of the phone that is at fault (although if they could speak freely rather than always reading from a script it would help) it is the ever increasing world of automation.

If a submitted case flies through the system, then superb.  But if, for whatever reason, an underwriter decides to request one further bit of information, or needs some additional clarification, then the fun begins.  

Timescales start to mount and you find your case in the ‘48 hour system’ awaiting a second look.  Good luck! 

It’s even more frustrating to find that some underwriters are not allowed to call you to establish an answer which might take 30 seconds to resolve.  Instead, you receive an automated email which, after ‘clicking here’ and ‘logging in there’, you try to decipher what is actually required….!

Full of joy, you provide the information only to re-enter the ‘48 hour’ service standard queue and the cycle begins all over again.  Assuming of course that the information you return to the lender does not get lost and is directed to the right department!

Rant over, it could have been much worse (really!) but here I am, hanging on to the phone (20 mins so far) waiting for someone to talk to me.  But, I am important to them as they keep telling me, so I will hang on for just a little while longer………..!

What this all demonstrates is the value of dealing with a specialist packager/distributor who will take on much of this painful flack on your behalf. 

Obviously, not for all lenders as there are many you can and should work with directly but, as business volumes begin to pick up and whilst some lenders are not looking to bolster their staffing levels, there really is no better time to be utilising the close lender relationships, the expertise and staffing levels of this sector.