Mortgage complaints have increased by 55% compared with the same period in 2013, data from the Financial Ombudsman Service has revealed.

More than half of the complaints were still PPI related. Other favorites included disputes over valuations, complaints about the advice to take out the wrong mortgage product and upfront fees being charged where no mortgage offer is forthcoming.

Then there are the complainants who are struggling to meet their mortgage repayments, whose complaints are varied, but generally focus on “unfair” increasing payments.

An area which has contributed to the increase is complaints about “mortgage administration.”

As we don’t sell PPI, do valuations, or charge upfront fees, we are pretty much in the clear on the complaints front, but I can confirm that our usually slick administration service has been tested to the limits following the new mortgage regulations this year. This has left clients – if not quite ready to go into battle with the Ombudsmen, somewhat agitated.

I telephoned a client who commented on our customer questionnaire, that the “whole process took twice as long as it should have, as the lender kept on asking ridiculous questions.” To be fair the lender asked all the usual questions when the application arrived, but they were followed up by 6 questions (over a 2 week period) regarding direct debit payments to “The Dogs Trust,” “British Gas Homecare” and “Sew magazine Subscription.” What were they for? were they compulsory?, can they be cancelled without a charge?

I checked the notes, and clearly the underwriter had left no stone unturned, before he finally issued the offer of £120,000, to a client earning over £75,000! To be fair, lenders have started to ease up on the new “affordability checks.” But for the record: The Dogs Trust, is The Dogs Trust, British Gas Homecare, come out for plumbing / boiler / drains and electric problems and Sew magazine subscription is a subscription to Sew magazine!

If you need any mortgage advice please get in touch with one of our advisers.

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