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Banks clarify position on mortgage application process

20th April 2020

BPFI publish guidance for customers on mortgage approvals and drawdowns process during Covid-19

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today published an FAQ as guidance for customers who are currently engaged in the mortgage application process and who may have questions as to how this might be impacted by Covid-19. The information, published on BPFI’s website here addresses questions for those seeking to apply for a mortgage approval, those who have obtained an approval or those who are seeking to drawdown on a mortgage.

Outlining the current situation regarding the mortgage application process in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive said: “In these increasingly uncertain times BPFI is today seeking to provide reassurance and clarity to customers who are at various stages of the mortgage application process be that someone who is thinking of applying for a new mortgage, someone who has secured a mortgage approval or indeed someone who is about to drawdown on their mortgage.”

The BPFI guidance confirms that banks remain open for business for new mortgage applications and are operating as effectively as circumstance allow. For those customers who have secured a mortgage approval but who may now need more time to find a home due to the impact of the current restrictions, lenders can extend the period of a mortgage approval where the customer’s circumstances have not materially changed, subject to standard income and affordability checks. And for those who have a mortgage approval but who have unfortunately experienced income loss due to Covid-19, a lender can keep this application open  on its system for a period of time after which it can be reviewed and the customer can provide an update on his/her  employment and income situation. This approach is considered to be clearly in the interest of both the customer and the lender in ensuring that mortgages are not extended to those who cannot now or in the immediate future afford them.

According to BPFI there will be many customers who are further along the application stage and looking to drawdown on their mortgage and perhaps thinking that the current crisis may impact this process. But BPFI is keen to reassure such customers that lenders are facilitating mortgage drawdowns within the normal timeframe where all the standard requirements have been fulfilled. However it’s important to bear in mind  that some delay may occur due to factors beyond the lender’s control, for example, the ability of valuers to conduct a full inspection of a property or of legal practitioners to access everything that is required for them to complete all steps.

“At whatever stage  applicants may be in the mortgage process, should they have any concerns we would encourage them to read the  information available on the BPFI’s website in the first instance; and if they have any further questions beyond that to contact their lender who will advise them on their particular situation,” Brian Hayes concluded.

BPFI’s Covid-19 FAQ on mortgages can be found on the BPFI website here. A range of other Covid-19 support information on a range of topics including payment breaks for mortgage customers, supports for businesses, payment services and vulnerable customers can also be found on the site.

 

Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: For further information contact Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, jillian.heffernan@bpfi.ie  087 9016880

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