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Murphy and Montlake defend ‘right time to remortgage’ comments

by: Hannah Uttley
  • 12/02/2015
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Murphy and Montlake defend ‘right time to remortgage’ comments
Andrew Montlake and Brian Murphy have defended their position after being accused of encouraging consumers to get into debt at the risk of losing their homes.

The opinion piece on the Independent’s website written by journalist Rosie Millard targets the casual large loan culture driven by historically low mortgage rates. However, later, Millard attacks the well-known mortgage industry pundits for suggesting now is a good time to remortgage.

Millard writes: “Is it really a good time to listen to the likes of Brian Murphy, head of lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau, who says, with admirable metaphorical elan, “the next six months are shaping up to be the best-ever window to secure a low-interest rate if you are looking to buy or remortgage”

Murphy is quoted stating that a Base Rate rise is inevitable so borrowers must hurry to take out a mortgage, whereas Millard argues it should be a reason to slow down and exercise caution.

Next, Millard attacks mortgage adviser Coreco director Andrew Montlake for suggesting the next few months could be the best time to choose a fix with the lowest rates in generation on offer.

Speaking to Mortgage Solutions both Murphy and Montlake said the comments were taken from a different article and neither were approached by Millard for this piece.

“Speaking to another journalist, I said rates are pretty much at an all-time low so affordability is better than it’s been for a long time and more importantly with the Mortgage Market Review the checks and balances are in place from a lender perspective to make sure that people don’t overextend themselves,” said Murphy.

In reference to the story Murphy was interviewed for, he said: “It had nothing to do with me making any claims about encouraging people to over extend themselves or borrow silly amounts of money, which was sort of the inference from the Independent article I suppose.”

Montlake, interviewed for the same story as Murphy, agreed that his comments had been misunderstood and taken out of context.

“Neither of us are talking about whether it’s a good or bad time to buy houses –  that’s not what the article was originally about. It was about borrowers who have potentially not fixed and have the opportunity to fix now while the rates are low to give themselves some protection against future rate rises.

“It’s all about protecting borrowers and making sure that they see that there are some good options out there.”

Montlake said his comments were about educating borrowers that there were cheap options available which would give them security for the future.

He has written an open response to the Independent article which can be viewed here.

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