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Criminal charge and £5k fines for pack rebels

Lenders and IFAs have slam med Government proposals to criminalise house sellers who put their homes on the market without a seller&#39s pack.

The criticism follows last week&#39s attack by Conservative Shadow housing minister Nigel Waterson on Govern ment plans to hit sellers with a maximum £5,000 fine if they fail to market their home with a seller&#39s pack.

At a Parliamentary legislative committee debate last week, Waterson highlighted how homeowners would be treated in the same way as people char ged under the Restriction of Offensive Weap ons Act of 1959 which covers the sale and manufacture of flick knives.

Lenders and IFAs argue the Government is imposing criminal law on what they see as a civil offence to force borrowers to comply with an unpopular plan.

Paragon Mortgages managing director and chairman of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, John Heron, says the membership of the Council of Mortgage Lenders and Imla are united in the view that “criminalising the activity just makes the whole thing worse. You will struggle to find anyone in the industry who supports this”.

Baxters Business Consult ants partner Nick Baxter says: “The Government is making this illegal on the basis of a very small, unproven trial.”

Future Mortgages head of marketing Michael Bolton says: “This is politically engineered because the market does not want it. As soon as the minister responsible is moved on, this will be dropped.”

A Government spokesman says: “The packs need to be mandatory so the full effects of them will be felt down the chain.”

l Mortgage Brief, p69

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