Most of us must have had those types of phone calls from clients who have been quite far down the line with another broker before picking up the phone and calling yours truly.
If you are like me and are in the business to genuinely help people, then it is hard to turn down potential clients even though you just know it is unlikely to be plain sailing.
So, why do clients feel the need to change mortgage brokers?
Not meeting client expectations seems to be the obvious choice and that can be for a variety of reasons, some of which I understand may not necessarily be the fault of the broker.
Apart from a bit of essential historical information from the client about the service they were provided previously, it should be a case of business as usual and forget the antics of the previous broker. But for some reason, it isn’t.
You see, the slightest of clues can help place the case in a market where there could only be one or even two lenders at most willing to consider an application.
Any damage done?
Without being too distracted from the job in hand I find myself looking for reasons as to why things did not work out and what damage if any was done.
These clues can potentially help you take the case forward.
Proceed with caution though as clues can make you incorrectly assume, and we all know what assuming does.
I also tend to take it with a pinch of salt when the client says the broker was lazy and could not be bothered, but could there be more?
Did the previous broker do a really good job? Was the broker motivated to do their best?
At the very least client expectations were probably not met otherwise the client would still be speaking to their original broker and not me.
£1,995 fee up-front
Recently I received a call from a distressed client who asked if I could help with his mortgage.
It was an area of specialisation for me so I agreed to help as I had experience which could benefit the client.
I discovered that the broker concerned had not only done a decision in principle with the lender but also went on to place the full mortgage application just to get a decline for not meeting basic criteria.
On top of this, the adviser had taken a broker fee of £1,995 up-front as well as extra fees for conveyancing and valuations, all of which were apparently non-refundable.
If the broker had done his job properly he would have researched the case and found out at an early stage before applying that the chosen lender was unsuitable.
In as many days I received a second call from a client who was at risk from being made homeless if she did not progress with buying a property that she lived in. The landlord was under pressure to sell.
I put aside claims that the broker had lost interest and got on with the job in hand but was puzzled why the broker went to a non-risk-based lender when the clients had settled defaults on their credit report.
So it was no surprise when the client informed me that the application had been declined and that she had to find another solution.
It was not easy because the case was high loan-to-value (LTV) but we successfully placed the case.
I later asked the client to compare the service that we provided and was shocked to discover that the previous broker had submitted the application without collecting in all of the required information and documents.
It seems that there was a half-hearted attempt at completing the fact-find and the broker’s secretary called to complete a budget planner and that was that.
Buying a house is one of the most important milestones for a family and failing to secure a mortgage when they fit criteria with the right lender is just plain criminal.
The consequences for the family both short and long term can be damaging, to say the least.