There has been so much progress in the mortgage market, and nowadays so many companies have your information on file that many people reckon you can easily apply for a mortgage online, surely it wouldn’t be that big a deal right? In many cases you should also be able to get your conveyancing done in a similar manner with minimal upset, but in every respect there is almost no progress in terms of online trading for mortgages.
There are several software solutions that send information to a lender but none of them offer an actual ‘suite’ solution, by that we mean sending information, property auto-tagged pdf scans of documents, and the ability to synchronise updates so that a person can effectively deal with a lender over the web.
Every site you go to that says ‘apply online‘ is really saying ‘fill in our form and we’ll call you’ because there isn’t a way to fully apply for a mortgage online at present, and the job of creating a mortgage is still as labour intensive today as it was five years ago. It is one of the few industries that apart from being reluctant to change, it is downright embedded in the ‘old way’ of doing things. A mortgage application should be possible via the internet.
One thing that will be necessary is to have an authorised individual input the documentation and stand over what the bank is seeing, for that reason doing it ‘directly’ may not be possible because a bank will rightly need to ensure that the CP 10 obligations and Money Laundering rules are adhered to. How could the get around that? Well, brokers could do it – they already do with photocopies, bank branches could do it (sending it in electronically to the central processing unit), Solicitors could do it – the fact that they have Public Liability and governance of the Law Society would mean they can be relied upon (if you don’t accept that then the whole system is already broken as solicitors handle deeds etc. regularly).
The real issue isn’t the fact that the customer wants this, the people working with banks want this and that it also makes incredible sense, the issue is our banks. They will not change their ways, we have met with several lenders and offered to do integration work for FREE and they still won’t accept electronic documentation! Strangely, mortgages are essentially becoming a utility product but they are dealt with in a labour intensive and over complicated manner.
Anyway, if you want to make a mortgage application anywhere, and particularly if it is online, then do your homework first [naturally we’d hope everybody would love to deal with our company] and try to ensure that the firm you are dealing with is well established and known, that they are a member of a professional body, ideally they will have been recognised with industry awards, have an up to date site, press commentary, and individually the qualifications for the role.
If you think that doing a mortgage online is a good idea or just plain ridiculous we’d love to hear your comments on it!