‘Porn star Nacho Vidal held in Spain after man dies in toad-venom ritual’
That probably got your attention rather quickly.
Thumbing through Twitter the other day, this popped up on my timeline and I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn’t the one hallucinating. And before you suggest I’m following some rather odd accounts, this was a story on the BBC News website. You can read the frankly bizarre details here.
A man’s death is no laughing matter of course, but I couldn’t help a guffaw at the response from comedy legend, Michael McKean (he of This is Spinal Tap fame) who quickly responded with, ‘A tale as old as time’.
I’ll freely admit you see some odd things on social media these days, but in the world of ‘Mortgage Advice Twitter’ it’s unlikely you’ll see anything as odd as that.
However, there are plenty of nuggets to be gleaned and there is a pretty vocal and highly supportive advisory community online that if you’re not part of, then it’s certainly worth joining.
Those working on the frontline can tell you much about the progress (or otherwise) that’s being made post-lockdown in the mortgage market and how that translates into finding solutions for clients. It is, of course, not always an easy job – sometimes not helped by the information (or lack thereof) that comes via the client.
Take this tweet from Colin Payne (@paycolin) of Chapelgate Private Finance earlier this month:
‘I just love this job sometimes, how the heck can you forget to disclose a £40k car loan, no wonder the lender asked me to review the clients credit report!’
And on the same thread, this one from Rob Gill (@robdgill) from Altura Mortgage Finance):
‘Had a client forget about a CHILD recently! Picked up a payment on the bank statements, “Oh yeah, that’s a maintenance payment for my daughter…’
It definitely feels like a case of, ‘If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry,’ but I’m sure any adviser reading this will completely understand the frustrated feelings expressed and have plenty of similar examples to recall.
Clients, God love them, are not always forthcoming with every single detail of their financial history or current payment situation – and to be fair, some have no idea of exactly what their current commitments are – but without that level of detail and information, advisers can often find themselves coming up against such obstacles and having to carry out an increased amount of work in order to get a solution achieved.
One of the replies to Colin’s tweet suggested there was an argument to check every client’s credit report before submission, and I couldn’t have put it better myself, but I’d also argue that you probably need to go further than that. As has been made clear, the credit report status tells some of the story, but not all of it, and it’s only when you review the banking data/statements that the true picture can be revealed.
It’s why our Credit Assess report provides both credit report and Open Banking data – where agreed – and in terms of pre-assessment, having that 360-degree level of information can ensure advisers aren’t going down a blind alley based on a lack of upfront detail from client, and that this doesn’t get pushed back to them when such detail is finally revealed.
Utilising products such as Credit Assess can ensure that client ‘forgetfulness’ or client ‘unawareness’ are not the application stoppers they might otherwise develop into to. And by doing this at the start of the client interaction it can also ensure a great deal of ‘double working’ is avoided.
Up until now, such frustrations have been ‘tales as old as time’ for advisers but by utilising the right tech and the right product, they no longer need be.
David Jones is director of Click2Check