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Stuart Gregory: Preparing for the MMR

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Well it is on its way,  the mortgage market review – fundamental changes which if you are not on Planet Mortgage, you will be unlikely to have heard much about yet.

Lenders are issuing their guidelines on pipeline business, so what can we expect?

Judging by a conversation I had with Santander recently on a help-to-buy case where it queried an applicant’s milk delivery costs, scrutiny is an apt word to consider when thinking about the changes.

If you experienced the implementation of mortgage regulation, then the chances are you will be prepared already, but we need to get the word out to our clients.

My worry, however, is that existing UK borrowers will only become aware of this at the last minute.

It is easy to forget that many borrowers have little idea of how many changes have happened since 2008.

For instance, I saw clients recently who were given an interest only mortgage in 2008 by another broker at 85 per cent loan to value – with no repayment vehicle.

We then had an open discussion on how the market had changed since then.

Managing expectations is my new slogan.

We know that the world has changed but it is down to us to inform our clients, who in turn can tell their friends.

I am not expecting many media pieces until the changes take effect.

I have recently seen more clients who seem to be picking up on the benefits
of providing a copy of their credit report.

There is nothing more important than clarity on a client’s current circumstances when the important research is being completed.

Recently, I presented a seminar to a group of accountants and the feedback was immense.

The presentation on screen was not fancy (as my 8-year-old daughter designs Powerpoint better than me) but it was all about the content.

Changes to sole trader assessments and the removal of self-certification are likely to have a big impact, depending on capital allowances.

If you are not talking to your accountancy contacts, get them in a room and tell them what’s going on out there. I have been engaging with accountants a lot over the past two years – not all have wanted to listen and take on board what was said about the mortgage market changes, but now I sense a change.

Let’s be careful out there.

Stuart Gregory is managing director of Lentune Mortgage Consultancy

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