Coventry Building Society has emphasised that mortgage applications packaged right first time are more likely to complete quicker.
The lender also noted that self-employed cases were seeing more questions and would probably take longer to process so managing borrower expectations would be crucial.
Speaking on the Mortgage Administrator iVENT, Ben Williams, corporate relationship manager, at Coventry for Intermediaries highlighted that when packaging cases the key principles apply even more now.
“It is really important now more than ever when you are submitting an application that you understand what documents are a minimum requirement for that customer type,” he said.
“Make sure you are getting that packaging right first time because at least that way if an underwriter picks up a case they have all the info they need to process the application.
“The chances are it’s going to go through a lot quicker with a lot less questions.
“If we do keep having to come back and forth getting information bit-by-bit then different underwriters will view that application and maybe have a different opinion,” he added.
Discussing the situation for self-employed applicants, Williams acknowledged that self-employed applications were being impacted more than employed customers with more questions asked.
He explained it was essential to show how little, if at all, the borrower’s income had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Historically lenders would have had a level of comfort when underwriting a mortgage application based on the last two or three years of income,” Williams continued.
“Obviously that is very historic and not the same as employed income where you can get the payslip from the last three or four months.
“That does present challenges for lenders because we are having to underwrite applications differently, asking more questions on the impact of Covid-19 on their business: what industry do they work in, what LTV are they looking for, are they looking to maximise their borrowing based on their figures?”
Williams added: “It’s really important at the outset to manage the customer’s expectations around speed if they are self-employed because there are likely to be more question marks.”
Finally, Williams urged brokers not to delay submitting applications if customers were looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday or the Help to Buy scheme which both end on 31 March.
Concerns have been raised that conveyancers were starting to build up backlogs, but while Williams said things were fine at present, he had heard from other parts of the industry that cases may build.
“Right now we’re not seeing it in any sort of detrimental way for customers but it may be something to keep an eye on as we approach the new year,” he said.
“And if there are customers thinking of moving then get applications in to allow lenders to get offers out as quickly as possible and don’t leave things too late as we approach those deadlines on 31 March next year.”
Owain Thomas is features and contributing editor of Mortgage Solutions and editor of Specialist Lending Solutions.
He also has experience in the protection, pensions, workplace benefits and HR areas.
Owain has won two Headline Money Awards and the Protection Review’s Journalist of the Year award.