Brian Smart

Registered with Property118.com
Thursday 4th July 2013


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 7

Brian Smart

13:41 PM, 6th December 2013
About 7 years ago

What are your repayment plans?

I have 3 years to run on a couple of mine, one of which is my own home. BM wrote to me 2 years ago and asked these questions. The letters are properly set out and intelligently presented. I also know that the CML have asked lenders to be flexible. I gave an initial response and have it on my calendar to write a more detailed proposal next year.

All these lenders know I won't talk to call centres and I have had it marked on my files. There is never a good time to receive an impromptu phone call and have to give out personal information that others nearby can hear. You can't do this sort of thing over the phone and your plumber was correct in deflecting them.... Read More

Brian Smart

18:37 PM, 5th December 2013
About 7 years ago

Paragon Mortgages MD Calls for BTL Code of Practice

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "05/12/2013 - 15:35":

To me there are two separate issues here. I regard myself as a professional landlord because I make my living from it. I care about my properties and I care about my tenants. My first property 24 years ago was bought on a residential mortgage and I lived there a few years before moving out and letting it. That is how I got started.

I am NOT a professional investor. When I started increasing my portfolio I needed more mortgages. These were obviously based on the viability of the property and its yield as my own income hadn't changed and wouldn't support more than one mortgage.

It took me a while to discover that a mortgage is not a mortgage is not a mortgage. The mortgages I had known all my life were for life, not just for Christmas! In the early nineties when rates went up into the mid teens, my lender sent an agent to my house and we agreed a way to keep going and eventually capitalise the arrears.

In 2008 when the banking crash occurred I discovered the about BTL mortgages, and I discovered how ruthless and uncaring these lenders were. Mortgage Trust, a Paragon company, were one of them and I have issues with them to this day about the way they treat me. But there is nothing I can do and Mortgage Express has virtually ruined me in the last five years, even going back on arrangements I had made with them and denying they were ever made.

I cannot see that this happened because I did something wrong. It happened because these were unregulated mortgages and the importance of this was never explained to me. The lenders can do what they like, grab your properties when they like and install LPA receivers on a whim. Then they can sell your properties to their friends for 30p in the £ and come after you for the rest. And there is nothing you can do.

If being considered as a consumer means that I will get mortgages that have some protection and are regulated then bring it on! I want to carry on looking after my tenants and my houses in a professional way and not have to worry about a particular lender's agenda. I want to be protected by some regulations. The press has been full of how RBS has been calling in loans and stripping their customers assets but there has been no mention of what Mortgage Express have been up to apart from in this forum.

My credit rating is screwed now but I know that with regulated mortgages I could have negotiated a way through the worst years. What the big boys with mega-portfolios want to do is irrelevant to me. They probably don't manage their own tenants. I do and I want to be treated differently and given some protection.

Brian... Read More

Brian Smart

8:42 AM, 4th July 2013
About 7 years ago

Mortgage Express Right to Consolidate

Thanks for all the advice Paul. I live near Chester so it would be a long way to your pub. However I also have time on my hands and I do travel to meet other landlords so it is not out of the question.

I am left with properties that cashflow and I need that trickle of income until my state pension kicks in in a few years time. I fully accept now that I will never get the future capital appreciation in my remaining 5 properties but I haven't ruled out learning about options, rent to rent etc. In the mean time I will help my brother to get started and he is totally resistant to using finance even though he would undoubtedly get it. He has read all the stuff about leverage as a tool for growth but he doesn't care. He wants to be beholding to no-one. With what we've been through, who can blame him?

"Own nothing, control everything"... Read More

Brian Smart

10:08 AM, 2nd July 2013
About 7 years ago

Mortgage Express Right to Consolidate

Thank you everyone for these comments. I appreciate that I cannot treat this as actual advice but I am looking for ideas for an exit strategy. My brother is now embarking on property investment for the first time and my experiences will serve him well.

I got into the mess in 2008 when several deals that were going through got pulled at the last minute, deposits were lost and I became broke. It was a dual problem: I no longer had cash to subsidise negative cashflow deals until they came out of fix, and MX refused to lower tracker rates in line with BBR despite Gordon Brown saying at the time that all banks in government control would do so. The end result was that my original GMAC mortgages that MX had acquired were costing me a fortune with an inevitable result.

And of course once your credit file is shot there is no real way to climb out. I had always believed that I could sell my properties at a price to clear the mortgage, and I have tenants who would like to buy them off me in 3 cases, but I attended a seminar run by Matthew Moody two weeks ago and one of his solicitors that I chatted to seemed to cast doubt on whether I would be allowed to do this.... Read More

Brian Smart

7:57 AM, 28th June 2013
About 7 years ago

Mortgage Express Right to Consolidate

Thanks for confirming I am beaten. It is better to know where I stand and act accordingly. I need to go off and research how charging orders can be used now as one of the properties MX have put an order on is with TMW and has a small amount of equity. It has been the focus of my attention for the last 4 years as I slowly renovated this with every spare penny I could raise. I would be heart broken if I could lose this now.

Back to MX, I have one mortgage left running with them and they have been adding all the legal charges from the repossessed properties to this account bumping up the balance. As I pay this account every month without fail I am annoyed that they put "Arrears legal charges" on it on a regular basis. I have complained to the Ombudsman but now I have seen these postings about their right to consolidate I guess they can legally do this too?

Why didn't they just sell the live and kicking mortgage accounts to another bank? Isn't asset stripping the name of the game in administration? Sell the good accounts to someone else and write off the rest, selling them to a DCA for a few pence in the pound. Why prolong the misery? It's been 5 years of this now. If my remaining MX mortgage was sold on to XYZ Bank I would have a chance to keep some retirement income. What good is it to the taxpayer owners of MX if I end up having to draw benefits and cannot generate income and therefore pay tax?... Read More