A [Pounds Sterling]1m Mortgage? Sorry, but That's History Now, Sir; HARD PLACE:Duncan Farmer,inset,drew a Blank as Queues Formed outside Northern Rock IAN McILGORM

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), September 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

A [Pounds Sterling]1m Mortgage? Sorry, but That's History Now, Sir; HARD PLACE:Duncan Farmer,inset,drew a Blank as Queues Formed outside Northern Rock IAN McILGORM


Byline: DUNCAN FARMER

Three years ago I showed in an article for this section how I could havebeen a millionaire, as specialist mortgage brokers andlendersbentover backwards to give me money to buy a house they knew I could not afford.

Using a raft of 'creative' financial manoeuvres, I was able to borrow - inprinciple, I hasten to add - [pounds sterling]1million with the promise of far more to come.

By using convoluted cashback schemes and falsified payslips and applying as abuy-to-let landlord rather than an owner-occupier - all tricks suggested bydodgy mortgage advisers - I could have persuaded banks to lend me more than 30times my stated income of [pounds sterling]30,000 a year.

How times have changed.

Those brokers and lenders who once wanted to be my new best friend, last weektreated me like a pariah when I went cap in hand for a big loan.

Although my finances now look a lot healthier - I have an income of about[pounds sterling]50,000 and a deposit of [pounds sterling]20,000 - I find myself in the same straits asNorthern Rock: on paper I am a good prospect, but nobody wants to know.

My quest for a [pounds sterling]1million mortgage was met with a unanimous, 'No chance! You'dbe lucky to get [pounds sterling]200,000.' The problem is not my income - in fact, for manylenders it is still not a huge issue - but the amount of cash I can put down toprotect them if I stop making repayments.

'You need a bigger deposit,' I was toldon numerous occasions by brokers last week.

'We're not doing 100 per cent mortgages any more - even 90 per cent is pushingit. And for buy-to-let you'd need to put down at least 15 per cent.' Mortgagearrears are rising at their fastest rate for six years and more than 50 homes aday were repossessed last year, according to Government figures.

But what about claims in the Press that some banks will give eight timesearnings?

'They're only for very high earners who can put down 50 per cent of thepurchase price,' said brokers.

And the 'duplicate' payslips stating any salary I chose that I could buy withno questions asked from firms advertising in classified ads magazines?

'It won't make much difference if you haven't got a big deposit,' came thegruff reply.

Could I persuade a 'motivated seller' and a 'creative' solicitor to inflate thepurchase price so the lender thinks I'm borrowing 85 per cent, but then dropthe price on completion so that I don't need a deposit?

'You could try, but it's fraud and we wouldn't get involved in that,' they saidin a holier-than-thou tone I'd never heard before. …

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