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Mortgages for carers? No more... - Carers UK Forum

Mortgages for carers? No more...

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Reckless lending in the American sub-prime mortgage market has been blamed for causing today's financial meltdown.

But one former mortgage broker turned whistleblower has revealed to the BBC how lenders on this side of the Atlantic were equally reckless.

At this stage we cannot reveal his full name or the UK firm of mortgage brokers he worked for, but between 2002 and 2004 Steve worked in a call centre alongside more than two hundred people targeting home-owners who traditional lenders would shy away from: those in arrears, with county court judgements to their names, even those reliant on state hand outs.

"If they had enough benefits to support the size of the mortgage they wanted, we'd do it," he admits.

"I did remortgages where the customer was solely on benefits - carer's allowance, income support, or housing benefit."

'Loving it'

Steve says people were coming back again and again.

"We'd have customers ringing us up, who we'd remortgaged 4 months ago, asking 'can we do it again', and we'd remortgage 2 months later and they'd get another 10k."

"The company was loving this, absolutely loving this. But it was wrong. They shouldn't have done it."

By remortgaging, struggling home-owners could capitalise on the rising value of their houses to release enough cash to pay off their existing debts.

Back then, the residential mortgage industry was self-regulating, and it was not until the FSA took over in October 2004 that practices like cold-calling were outlawed.

Mediterranean cruise

Steve guessed that many of his customers would struggle to meet the repayments of their new sub-prime mortgages once the fixed rate deals came to an end, but with cash bonuses and luxury holidays on offer for hitting targets, he persisted with what he now admits were immoral - but not illegal - tactics.

Today I can see people losing their houses and I was part of that

As part of selling my house and getting another I was offered a financial review by a leading High Street Building Society/Estate Agent ...

I didn't want a mortgage quote but they gave me one anyway - they were prepared to lend me £60K! That was greater than the mortage offered years ago when first married, both working full time, no children!

I stressed that I had NO INCOME FROM EMPLOYMENT but they still wanted to give me money.

That local branch of the estate agency has since closed, a victim of the credit crunch ... Image