Together reviewing offer affordability and pausing applications

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  • 07/04/2020
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Together reviewing offer affordability and pausing applications
Together has put all pre-offer applications on hold as it adapts to the coronavirus crisis and is reviewing customer affordability where offers have been made, including purchases where contracts have been exchanged.

 

The lender was one of the first to react when it stopped accepting new applications on 25 March, with a statement to the London Stock Exchange saying it would focus on the existing pipeline.

However, it has now been forced to scale this down further.

In a statement on its website Richard Tugwell, group intermediary relationship director, highlighted the exceptional circumstances at present.

“In our 45-year history, we have never encountered anything like this,” he said.

“But we remain determined to work together with our colleagues, customers and valued business partners to rise to the challenge in the way that we have to others in the past.”

He continued: “We have had to make some difficult decisions. We recently announced that we would stop accepting new applications for the time being as we reviewed the pipeline and we can now communicate the following.”

 

Offer affordability reviewed

For purchases, Tugwell continued: “Where a case has already exchanged, we will review the customer’s affordability to ensure this is still right for them.

“Where the case is offered and not exchanged as of 3 April 2020, we will pause the application for an initial three months.

“We will constantly review our processes in line with market conditions and government advice, but for now, we will not progress these cases.”

On remortgages, the lender is undertaking a full review of customer affordability “to ensure it is affordable, still right for them and that they want to proceed”.

Where the current property value can be established and with validated affordability, the case can progress.

However, where the property value cannot be confirmed and/or affordability validated, the offer will be suspended and reviewed when appropriate.

 

Pre-offer applications

Tugwell said that all cases at pre-offer stage will be put on hold until further notice.

“We will constantly review this and communicate further, either holistically or on specific cases when this changes. Unfortunately, in this market, we are not able to put a timescale on this right now,” Tugwell said.

The lender added that it was not excluding any customers from its pipeline review.

“We’ll assess all applicants’ circumstances individually against current economic conditions and their ability to afford and sustain repayments,” it said.

For cases where an offer has been issued, Tugwell said: “our underwriters will continue to review cases and will communicate next steps with you as soon as they can”.

 

Commercial finance and bridging

In commercial finance where a case is below 50 per cent loan to value and where Together can be confident that affordability is both sustainable and plausible it will look to progress these cases.

Bridging cases will also need a strong exit strategy.

“We are working as fast as we can. We will contact your customers directly and we will keep you updated on your cases as quickly as possible,” Tugwell concluded.

 

 

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