Mortgage Express instructed Valuations without my permission!

Mortgage Express instructed Valuations without my permission!

9:45 AM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago 80

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Hi All,

Some of my Tenants have been contacted by a company called Landwood group. They are trying to gain access to the properties to perform a valuation, and have requested the tenants provide information regarding the Tenancy Agreement.

I have contacted Landwood, who said they where just the Valuers and gave me the name and number of their contact at Mortgage Express. What right do Mortgage Express have in this regard?

Has anyone else had such a survey and do you know what this is all about?

Should I be worried?

Landwood said that Mortgage Express should have contacted me, but I have received no letter yet.
FYI – I have 12 mortgages with Mortgage Express- all in Essex. I have never been in arrears, and the tenants are all long term.

Many thanks in advance.

Markmortgage express logo

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13:34 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago

Dont we think it's about time the wider world knew about these tactics?

Having recently joined here and being impressed by people power regarding the West Bromwich fiasco, I was wondering if the same thing could be done to highlight to the press, MPs and the public at large just what UK AM/MX are up to with their nasty tactics.
I’m sure everyone can understand them needing to repossess when mortgage payments aren’t met, but it’s quite obvious that they are being far more ruthless than that.
Their objective is to simply close down loans, collect the cash and to hell with the damage they leave behind. Landlords who have a squeaky clean record of payments seem to be hounded and repossessed simply because of a minor infringement in the terms of a contract.
I’m sure that the vast number of MX customers could be ‘found out’ on some minor technicality (even thought they are responsible landlords and not in arrears. This would ultimately lead to their downfall.)
The fact that UKAM aren’t even interested in landlords paying down some mortgages, surely proves that they are gunning for everything- and are not prepared to act reasonably?
The fact that such a minor infringement then leads to ALL the mortgages being foreclosed, and apparently then the houses sold at ridiculous prices, is surely wrong morally?
UK AM are basically a dirty government agency who have a brief to get the money in. They are effectively working under the control of some government department or other (probably the Treasury). It seems to me that whilst the government want the dirty work to be done – they don’t want to be seen to have anything to do with it. It’s such an emotive story that we have nothing to lose, and potentially lots to gain, by setting it out in the open for public consumption.
What is most annoying is that the lending done by MX in the past was openly encouraged by them in order to gain market share. They were happy with back to back deals – and they weren’t illegal anyway. The market is now rising and in 5 years time equity levels would be high for virtually all current customers.
To conclude, my point is, can property 118 not begin an intensive publicity campaign/machine in order to tell the world of what our government are doing via this grubby outfit?
Mark and his team are obviously cut out for this and I would even suggest that a marketing fund is set up by us MX customers in order to invest in our futures. If we don’t – it’s probably only a matter of time before they stumble over you. WE need to put our money where our mouths are – this is assuming Mark and his team would be prepared to take up the cudgel? They already must have lots of contacts? Perhaps it could be done hand-in-hand with the NLA etc?
What we need to do ultimately is embarrass those who are in control.
I’m sure the angle about the plight of tenants caught up in all of this will be an emotive way to present it. Current sentiment does not run high for landlords, but it would be different if the tenants misery aspect was used greatly. Let’s not forget too that many people have their residential mortgages under the control of UK AM too!

Max Cave

15:53 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago

I agree with Chris Green. My dealings with UKAR gave me the impression that they were not working in the interest of the borrowers. They made every effort to see if they could repossess my portfolio. I was left alone only after I agreed to-
1) New terms - which allowed them to sell my portfolio whenever they wanted!
2) Pay them a 6 figure sum in loan reduction - long story
3) Make additional capital payments whilst I had interest only loans.

My 2 business partners who did not have the cash flow to negotiate went into LPA receivership. Needless to say they were both made bankrupt!

Richard Dyson of Mail on Sunday (at the time) wrote various articles about UKAR's tactics and I think it maybe worth feeding him new information again.

I do not trust MEx/ UKAR's motives. I would advise caution in dealing with them.

15:57 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago


Would you mind explaining how your business partners were made bankrupt by this?

Were the properties sold at a deep discount and then your partners chased by UKAR for the shortfall?

How long ago was this? It sounds the most extreme story that I have encountered so far.

Any ideas why they targeted you?

16:30 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago

Max, your story sounds shocking. Thanks for sharing it. However it serves to illustrate just what they are prepared to do. It would be interesting to know a little more if possible?

I just think that any reasonably minded member of the public hearing these tales would be horrified about how honest business people (who presumably aren't in arrears - as always seems to be the case with these MX issues) are being treated by their government.

Make no mistake - all this scandalous behaviour is at the government's instructions. It is simply that UK AR are their puppets that do the dirty work for them. Don't be surprised - this is what governments do - especially if allowed to.

For what it is worth, Richard Dyson is now the finance writer for the Telegraph, having left the Mail. I'm not au fait with the twitter world, not my scene at all, but he is.....His details can be found here.

Perhaps someone can alert him to this page via a tweet?

I think that this story is nothing short of a scandal linked to the government. Any decent journalist who took up the scent would find themselves with a great story. Reputations are built by scoops like this. The reporting angle of the effects on landlord's tenants PLUS the fact that UK AR control hundreds of thousands of ordinary people's residential mortgages should be enough to create a lot of interest, concern and worry for many. It would read as what it is - an atrocious scandal.

Something has to be done though, and 118 has shown the power of it's leadership and initiative with the WB fiasco.

How about it Mark/Neil?

Regarding financing a fighting fund. I think we have to accept that not everyone would contribute. This shouldn't be a barrier to the initiative being started though. There is too much at stake for us to decide that for that reason nothing should be done.

Maybe this thread could be a reference point to direct people towards for us to get our point across to the wider audience? In that case as many instances as possible that members here have to share would be a massive help. The thread needs to be packed with accurate information and details about how MX customers have been treated. Obviously if there are any instances of good treatment from UK AR - then it is only fair that they should also be noted here.

I know it might sound corny - but we can either fight - or simply wait and hope that nothing happens to us!

If you have just one MX mortgage - you should be concerned!

What are other members' thoughts on this - and the fighting fund suggestion please?

Is anyone happy to tweet Richard Dyson and get the ball rolling?

17:15 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago


If you read the links I provided, you will see that Property Tribes has an open dialogue with UKAR and they seem happy to respond to any questions or concerns we might have, although, understandably, they will not comment on individual cases.

Their remit is to "treat customers fairly" and they will have to stand by that.

I am in contact with the journalist Emma Lunn and will ask her if she might like to get involved.

She writes for the Telegraph and the Guardian.

One thing I will warn about is that the U.K. public will not sympathise with the plight of any MX/UKAR Landlord! They will revel in it and use it to incite more anti landlord sentiment.

However, they might sympathise with tenants losing their home, and that would be a better media angle imho.

Max Cave

17:32 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago

Without going into too much detail, all this happened around 2011. From what I know, my business partners did go into arrears due to recession driven non paying tenants. However they were happy to discuss reduction of the arrears via a payment plan. Whilst this was happening, UKAR insisted on instructing LPA to look after the portfolios. During this time the receivers charged fees and added additional management fees to the portfolio that was already running at low cash flow.
Then mysteriously, tenants started to vacate and the receivers even sold properties without the borrowers' knowledge. ALL THIS HAPPENED DURING THE negotiation phase. Of course, once 1 property was sold at a massive negative equity plus all the additional rental management fees the MEx arrears naturally grew exponentially!
One could argue that borrowers should never be in breach in the first place and that if they were in arrears then they deserved to be sent to the 'gallows'! However, deliberately using LPA receivers to run up costs and then sell to generate bigger arrears during negotiations is very under handed.
I don't believe that we were picked on deliberately. The impression I received was that UKAR was here to close down as many loans as they could, especially when these 'toxic debts' were ring fenced and (probably) effectively written off already by the Treasury.
I was left alone only because I had some money to give them for now. BTW, I had no arrears but I did breach because they paid some of my disputed service charges on some of my properties!
It is my belief that they will move onto everyone and close all loans when borrowers cannot clear the arrears, immediately. Once that's finished, then they will start from borrower 'A' again and move their way down to 'Z' for re valuations to see if they could fore close early'
Remember, they have nothing to lose if these debts are 'ring fenced'!

Chris Novice Shark Bait

17:57 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago

I have already sounded out Kenneth Clarke and Goerge Osbourne in a blanket letter about West Bromwhich and Bank of Ireland and concerns that I have about other mortgages that I hold including 2 with Mortgage Express and ME's previous bullish treatment of tenants occupying a lease option property that I once managed. They refused to recognise the lease option because the motgage holder had gone bankrupt after I purchased the lease option. They challenged me legally and although 7 of us got together and put up a good fight on limited funds we rolled over and lost our lease optoion fees and properties without it being tested in court.

The response from these two political heavyweights (Justice Minister and The Treasury) was poor. Although the tone of the replies was sympathetic the content was unhelpful and I had already exceeded the actions of their advice. Interestingly the whole issue of UKAR (the Zombie) bank was side strepped by them both. I assure you it was well spelt out in my letter what they were getting up to and I am grateful to property 118 and prooperty tribes for the infornation I was able to use.

I am very concerned.

Max Cave

18:14 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago

Also for anyone reading this, here is the process if you have breached-

1) You get a letter providing reason(s) why they KNOW that you breached. They will also give you a certain number of days to clear off all your MEx loans as a portfolio or face LPA receivers. You can breach on 1 or 2 loans but the whole of your portfolio is at risk and they expect you to clear ALL the loans off by set date or face receivers. This is usually 30 days. i.e. pay £millions by date 'x' or face LPA receivers.

2) Then one would request a meeting with them whilst the clock is still ticking.

3) In the meeting, they will give you the impression that they are doing a fact find to help you manage your arrears or debt etc.

4) Once they have all the information, they will offer you the chance of giving them your savings and all NET profits to be used as over payments. They will reiterate that the clock is still ticking and that you have only a couple of weeks to decide.

5) Whilst you are deciding and consulting lawyers, your tenants will get notifications from a LPA receiver that they wanted information about their tenancies. Naturally the tenants panic and some even decide to stop paying rent/ serve notice to leave.

I did lawyer up but the laws governing B2L's are such that MEx could instruct LPA receivers whilst I fought them in the courts! Of course, once LPA receivers takeover, they have the powers to sell and manage the properties as they see fit.... and all this for a fee too! Even if I won the case, it might be 2 years down the line and who knows whether I still have all my properties intact and what the cash flow situation would be! In fact I would most probably have bigger arrears to clear.

So the end game is that one either folds or give in to their demands and new terms. I have not bothered to make a fuss out my situation because technically I did breach on a few of my loans (although I was never in arrears). However, I don't treat any of my tenants or business associates in such manner.

If this is what UKAR thinks 'Treating Customers Fairly' is then I guess I have yet to learn a lot about running a business.

19:51 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago

@ Vanessa.

Yes I agree, and as pointed out in my post too I think that the tenant angle will bear fruit. Another massive fact is that UKAR control a huge amount of residential mortgages too! This will also have a big impact on the story. However, whilst I agree many people loathe landlords, it's a long way off the mark to say that all do.

Many people understand that a landlord runs a business and that many have almost been forced down that route owing to poor pension performance and low interest rates. I cant agree that everyone apart from landlords hate landlords.

Thanks Vanessa for attempting to contact your journalist contact too.

@ Max
Although you were in arrears, its obvious that they used that to effectively try and destroy you and your partners. How can that be right? They had no interest in working with a customer to try and sort matters out.

I think we have to be naïve to believe that, as Vanessa says, they aim to treat all their customers fairly.

That's just plain rhetoric, and anyone who believes it is living in cloud cuckoo land I think. The thing is, they will obviously come across all prim and proper when being interviewed by the likes of PT - it's their default mode. However if you were privy to hearing their private conversations I'm sure it would be a much different tale!

We all know that Mark's time is being taken up getting the support for his 28th March West Brom deadline. Hopefully once this is put to bed a concerted effort via 118 can be made - with members showing the appropriate financial support in order to get the story out as far and wide as possible.

21:38 PM, 19th March 2014, About 10 years ago

@Chris Green

To be clear, I did not say everyone other than landlords hate landlords!

I said not to expect sympathy for landlords affected by UKAR/MX.

Worth remembering that we are tax payer's too, and they are repaying tax payer's money!

I suggested that the "treat customers fairly" is not a remit they can be seen to be ignoring.

I have it in writing from them on PT that this is their policy.

Interviews on the likes of PT provide transparency and can be a way to hold them accountable to what they have claimed.

PT wants to work with MX/UKAR to avoid confusion and ensure that landlords are informed about their policies and can plan accordingly. A collaborative approach is better than a confrontational approach to my mind.

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