Homeownership has been one of the main aspirations for many people for generations. It remains one of the key milestones to reach through life’s journey, bringing a sense of security for many families and individuals. With property prices increasing over the decades, owning property sounds like a good idea. Rent can often feel like wasted money. I know that I am grateful that I own my house, with the help of the right mortgage.
For many people in the UK, the only way of purchasing a property is through a mortgage. Although not always seen this way, a mortgage is, ultimately, a very large loan secured against a property. I say that it’s not always seen this way, because often it is only described in this way from the perspective of the mortgage lender. The description is largely transactional and void of the real story behind many mortgages and property purchases.
For me and many of my clients, a mortgage is a way of securing a home. A place where many life stories develop, shaping many identities and family bonds. It is a geographical point where someone puts down roots and calls their own. This is mine!
A mortgage, though, is potentially the largest debt an individual will have in their lifetime. Getting the wrong mortgage can be life-altering. The mortgage world is cryptically complex with many different types of products offered by many lenders. Understandably, clients often seek advice from financial services professionals, or independent mortgage brokers, to obtain advice on the best product suited to their circumstances. But, what happens when this ‘transaction’ goes wrong?
The Impact of Having The Wrong Mortgage
In my clients’ experience, this not only has a devastating impact on their financial standing and independence but also – and most importantly – the wrong mortgage usually has wider repercussions on their lifestyles, relationships and plans for years to come. The wrong mortgage often exerts huge financial pressures which could lead to repossessions and, in some circumstances, careers are impacted. Financial ruination is a distinct possibility. But all you wanted was the property!
These days, in the advice a client may receive from a Mortgage Broker the margin for error is much smaller. Recent increases in regulation, audit and governance has brought much reassurance to both the mortgage market and to their clients. There should be fewer mis-sold mortgages these days. Although the increase is regulation is most welcome, clients with mortgages arranged prior to this increase in regulation are still suffering the effects of mis-sold mortgages today.
Sadly, millions of people face significant debt problems, or the inability to repay the capital they have borrowed, as a result of negligent advice received from mortgage brokers many years before. Negligent advice ranges from inappropriate recommendations of interest-only mortgages to incorrect debt consolidation advice, as well as flawed advice in relation to lending to people who will be unable to repay their mortgage when retired.
You Ask The Questions; We’ll Find The Answers
Assessing whether your mortgage has been mis-sold can be a minefield for anyone – including specialist lawyers like me (and I used to sell these mortgages!) – to get their head around. The questions I often hear from clients are: how do I know my mortgage was mis-sold? How do I know what else could have been available to me at the time? How do I know why my broker chose my particular lender or product? These are all sensible and typical questions.
The answer I always give is that, in order to assess these questions appropriately, you must put yourself in the shoes of both the broker and the lawyer, when assessing your claim. This isn’t easy to do. How does this happen? Well, it happens when someone qualified in both fields – like me – can look at both your financial situation at the time of inception of your mortgage – to assess what recommendation would have truly suited someone in your financial position – and also the current legal criteria for bringing a legal claim in Professional Negligence. You may then ask how easy it is to come across this person.
Well, hello, my name is Maya Fayad, a qualified mortgage advisor and your lawyer.
If you suspect you have been mis-sold your mortgage, I am here to help you get some answers and make sense of the process. Get in touch on 01423 788538 or email me at [email protected], tell me your story and leave the rest to me.