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Coronavirus support for Platform mortgage brokers

10 September 2020

We understand that your customers may have questions and concerns at this uncertain time. Here, you can find information about the latest developments.

Physical mortgage valuations ↓
Register for Scotland ↓
Change to Furlough Income Policy ↓
Extensions to mortgage offers ↓

Changes to our mortgage valuation process through the coronavirus crisis

Following the latest Government advice our valuation partners will be able to carry out physical inspections of properties, including Homebuyers Report, in all jurisdictions from Monday 29 June.

Our focus over the short term will be to work applications that are currently on hold as quickly and safely as possible, we will complete valuations in date order with the oldest applications being booked first.

Please ensure you advise us of any material changes to your clients’ circumstances. In addition, if your client no longer wants to proceed with the mortgage application please let us know as soon as possible so we can prioritise applications that are progressing.

The safety of our customers and valuers remains our number one priority. Valuations will be completed in line with government guidance and will involve a detailed safety assessment. We understand that some customers will not feel comfortable letting a valuer into the property at this time, where this is the case we will attempt a desktop valuation or place the valuation on hold where this is not possible.

Desktop Valuations Criteria:

  • Residential remortgage and revaluations up to 80% LTV
  • Residential purchase up to 75% LTV
  • Max Property Limit - £1m Greater London and £750k elsewhere

Key exclusions will be:

  • BTL applications above 60% LTV
  • New Build
  • Non-standard construction
  • LTV above 80% for re-mortgage and above 75% for purchase

In a small number of instances, it may not be possible to complete a desktop valuation for cases that meet the criteria outlined.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of buildings surveys these instruction types will not be possible at this time.

Registers of Scotland closure of Application Register

The Law Society of Scotland has introduced interim measures to address the issues arising from closure of the Application Record.

The Co-operative Bank have worked with the provider of our free remortgage proposition and are now able to introduce these interim measures allowing Scottish remortgage cases to complete as planned.

Change to Furlough Income Policy

Platform introduced temporary guidance in April 2020 which was reviewed and extended in June 2020 to consider customers who were in receipt of furloughed income in support of the government changes. The scheme is set to come to an end in October 2020 and in line with government and market changes Platform have reviewed their position.

As of Monday 14 September 2020, Platform will no longer be accepting furloughed income for new origination, any new mortgage cases need to meet pre-Coronavirus secured lending criteria income rules.

Extensions to mortgage offers

In light of the current situation relating to coronavirus, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government have issued guidance advising buyers and sellers to be more flexible on moving dates and completions. They have also requested that banks extend mortgage offers where a delay in completion takes place due to coronavirus.

UK Finance have issued guidance stating that “to help home movers impacted by Covid-19, mortgage providers will give customers who have exchanged contracts the option to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months, to enable them to move at a later date”.

As delays in the house buying process are anticipated, The Bank will offer customers extensions of up to 3 months on the current 6 month validity period, in line with this guidance.

Offer documentation

Due to the current situation relating to coronavirus and social distancing measures brought in by the government, some applicants have been unable to obtain documentation e.g. from their employer given that all non-essential businesses are closed. Physical valuations have also ceased.

To support these customers, The Bank will offer a 1 month extension on providing supplementary offer documentation as per the below. The Bank currently allows offer documentation to be valid for 6 months to support an offer to a customer before requesting renewed documentation. This will now be extended to 7 months.

The following documentation has a validity period and will be offered the 1 month extension where required:

  • Signed application form
  • Employer/accountant’s reference
  • Bank statements
  • Pay slips
  • Valuation report
  • Credit Search

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