Ancestry Visa Mortgage – How to avoid expensive pitfalls.
Ancestry Visa Mortgage – I was concerned to hear that a mortgage applicant had been made to pay over £2000 non-refundable mortgage application fee as a result of alleged misconduct by a mortgage broker. How could this possibly happen? It certainly should not have happened!
I recently received a phone call from a very concerned South African gentleman who had been dealing with a different mortgage broker to take care of his Ancestry Visa Mortgage on a foreign national basis. Things were not going too well as the mortgage broker concerned had no experience in helping people who are in the UK needing an Ancestry Visa Mortgage. His possible lack of experience was not replaced with good solid research either otherwise, things would have progressed in a different direction. I can only think that this is because research takes time and effort when looking for Ancestry Visa Mortgages for foreign nationals!
The mortgage broker concerned had submitted both a “decision in principle” with the chosen mortgage lender as well as a “full mortgage application” before not surprisingly hitting a brick wall. The mortgage applicant immediately lost confidence in the broker for several reasons and rang me after googling “ancestry visa mortgage” online. Quite rightly he wanted to know if I could place the mortgage for him.
Unfortunately, the mortgage lender in question declined the case because they do not offer Ancestry Visa Mortgages to people who live and work in the UK under the privilege of an Ancestry Visa! Inexperience aside, the mortgage broker concerned should have discovered this before application and especially before taking money from his client.
Out of curiosity, I asked which mortgage lender had been approached and it was one of those lenders that charged the applicant quite a lot of money upfront as a “non-refundable” application fee through a master broker packager, half of which the broker would receive regardless of success. It also turned out that valuation fees and legal fees had been paid upfront and the chances of a refund were nil according to the client. This was confusing because the surveying and legal services were ultimately not provided. These fees were charged very much prematurely and not in line with how I would usually work. I do not work with lenders who charge extortionate fees nor do I work with lenders who charge interest rates which are not competitive when it comes to an Ancestry Visa Mortgage for foreign nationals.
I also knew that this lender required each applicant to have either British citizenship or indefinite leave to remain status as a minimum, so there was no point in the broker going down the chosen route in the first place! That is unless they did not care whether they were successful or not for their client and wanted to bag a fee for trying!
The upshot was that I received a call from a very distressed potential client whose main objective was to actually get the mortgage on the property that he had found for his family and himself to live in. He was quite rightly concerned to lose the property due to the length of time everything was taking.
I do not like to comment too much on what the previous mortgage broker had done and why he did what he did, but it was clear that they had not done very well for their client. Whether it was just plain dishonesty or just incompetence at the highest level is still unclear.
Not only do we know the mortgage landscape when it comes to Foreign Nationals and an Ancestry Visa mortgage but we are out to put the client first. This is something that has been quite close to my heart for over 25 years because as a young man I was told: “never screw over the man/woman in the street because it hurts”. If I can help, then great but If I cannot help then I will be straight with my client from the word go! The same principle applies if I can help but there are areas of caution which must be understood. In any case, I am here to help navigate around a potential spanner in the works and not just dump the client when their use as a “cash cow” stops.
What has stunned me about this case is that the broker submitted to the mortgage lender without first checking whether the application will be accepted from someone with an ancestry visa who is living and working in the UK. It is just a 2-minute phone call when all said and done and should have been done before getting so far down the process and especially before taking a penny from the customer!
We have a very strict procedure when it comes to submitting a mortgage and I am even more cautious if the mortgage is on an Ancestry Visa Mortgage basis. Firstly, I collect information from the client as this helps me get to know their financial circumstances really well. I need all sorts of information, agreements, and documentation, but most importantly I will ask about their nationality at a very early stage. Depending on the answer I will ask further questions and also for a copy of the passport as I do need to have identification on file. This lets me know at an early stage what I am dealing with as clients need to fit lenders criteria, especially on an Ancestry Visa Mortgage.
I then research the case. If I have the correct information, then my research is going to be accurate. When it comes to an Ancestry Visa mortgage I already know which lenders will entertain an application from a Commonwealth citizen and the criteria from each lender.
Some mortgage lenders require applicants to be in the country a certain amount of time and others do not. The same goes for time left on the visa as well as other things to consider, especially income and deposit constraints. Finally, I make sure the client knows about how global property assets can affect the level of stamp duty paid in the UK. This is just to name a few.
Finally, before we submit the case to the lender we are supposed to call the lender to discuss the case which is something that I do every time regardless of whether I submitted a similar case the day before. Things can change overnight with lenders!
As I have demonstrated there should be no need for clients to feel too vulnerable when asking us to help them and if we cannot then we will know at an early stage. If a foreign national is not a suitable candidate for an Ancestry Visa Mortgage I will advise what steps are needed to become eligible.
Buying a property is very much an emotional journey! Each lender has criteria which is available to all mortgage brokers before applying on behalf of a client. The more straightforward we can be with our clients, the quicker they feel more comfortable letting us deal with the most important financial purchase of their life. That includes not applying to lenders when clients clearly do not meet basic criteria on an Ancestry Visa Mortgage basis.