Mortgage Express or Mortgage Distress?

Mortgage Express or Mortgage Distress?

12:33 PM, 6th September 2013, About 9 years ago 58

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The Mortgage Express exit strategy has been a hot potato since at least 2011 when they first met a group of 70 landlords at an event organised under the Property Tribes banner. Mortgage Express or Mortgage Distress

They have been slated by landlords for imposing terms and conditions which were buried in small print and which are no longer adopted by the mainstream buy to let lenders.

The bottom line for MX though is that their loan book is now the property of the UK tax payers and the organisation is pretty much run by Civil Servants, accountants, debt collectors/councillors and insolvency practitioners.

The Government have imposed tough targets and deadlines on the new MX team to reduce the loan book and therefore, it was inevitable that strong arm tactics, which many would describe as bullying, would be used.

Naturally they have gone for the easy targets and started by selling the concept of making over-payments to people who were too naive to work out that repaying a loan which typically costs 2.25% rarely makes sense. It’s possible to get a better return on that with a cash ISA or a deposit account in a bank or building society!  MX appear to have had scant regard to advising their clients to pay off more expensive credit first and they were never going to suggest investing any surplus into anything but reducing a debt with them were they?

The strong arm tactics have extended to imposing their “Right to Consolidate” which their contracts say allows them to use 100% of any sale proceeds to repay debts owed to them. It has even been implied on many occasions that if a borrower redeems one mortgage with Mortgage Express they can call in the rest! I’ve not seen these terms challenged in Court yet but I have come across borrowers who had stood up to Mortgage Express and there are quite a few examples on internet forums of MX having backed off. Bullies don’t like people who fight back.

Mortgage Express Reviews

General sentiment of landlords is that Mortgage Express borrowers should avoid reviews like the plague. The conspiracy theorists, of which I am one, are that MX have a very simple agenda and it’s not based on helping borrowers despite how they pitch it. It would appear the entire purpose of the meeting is for MX to persuade you to pay off or reduce your debt and/or to look for you to trip yourself up by admitting to breaching mortgage conditions which you were not necessarily aware of. Examples include:-

  • living in a property financed as a BTL
  • Letting a property which was financed as a private residence
  • letting to tenants which are now claiming benefits
  • where a property is an HMO

Would you know whether your tenants were claiming benefits though? What if they started claiming benefits after the tenancy started? What if the property became an HMO due to your local authority imposing selective or additional licencing?

Is it fair that MX could find one little problem, call in that loan and then call all the others in based on their right to consolidate conditions?

My Preferred Mortgage Express Exit Strategy

It has been mooted on several forums that MX have a target to collect a percentage of their loan book. I’m not aware whether the percentage target has ever been published but I’ve heard figures as low as 25% banded about. I suspect it’s much higher than that, otherwise, why would they carry the heavy administrative costs of their current activities as opposed to simply selling their loan book for 25% of it’s value? Perhaps they could and it’s a simple case of government ineptitude and politics preventing this from occurring? More likely, in my opinion, is that the government want to be seen to try to recover as much as possible of the tax payers bail out money.

If we knew what the desired recovery percentage was we could make suggestions. Let’s suppose the figure is 60%. Most buy to let landlords would happily refinance if their loans were discounted by far less than that. I’d certainly consider moving for a 25% to 30% write off of debt. Not every borrower would want or be in a position to go for such a deal but if only half did so, the remaining book, which I suspect would include a lot of toxic dent and low value assets due to negative equity, could still be shifted. They may only get 40 pence in the pound for these assets as a block sale but those extra 10% to 15% figures they would get from borrowers taking up their offers directly could well make up the balance.

Why don’t Mortgage Express just exit now?

I suspect it’s only a matter of time before Mortgage Express start offering golden goodbye deals to borrowers, it’s just a case of satisfying the tax payer that they’ve tried everything else first. Mortgage Express were given 7 years to exit and it is because we are into the final states of that period we are seeing them apply increasing pressure. Those of us who can survive the next few years will, I suspect, come out of this with a great deal but in the meantime we should expect the unexpected as well as underhand tactics.

What would you do if you were Mortgage Express?

What do you think Mortgage Express borrowers should and should not do to protect their interests?

Don’t be bullied by Mortgage Express

Before you agree to do anything with Mortgage Express talk to your fellow landlords. Go along to Landlords Association meetings or post comments/questions below or on Property Tribes. If Mortgage Express do bully you, fight back. If you don’t want to meet them don’t meet them. If they get aggressive with you just bear in mind that there are thousands of other Mortgage Express borrowers who are likely to have had similar experiences. Focus on the ideas that are legal and make the most sense. There are reported to be in the region of 50,000 Mortgage Express buy to let borrowers.

Via this link we have an excellent story as it unfolds of a landlord who was being forced to sell his home by Mortgage Express. It’s a very long discussion thread which was contributed to by several landlords and property professionals. To cut a long story short the landlord got his MP on side and Mortgage Express backed off.

Mortgage Express problems - You are NOT alone



Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

13:48 PM, 9th February 2015, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary BTLowner" at "09/02/2015 - 12:02":

Hi Gary

Sorry but I can't think which thread you are referring to.

This link >>> takes you through to all of the discussions regarding Mortgage Express. Hopefully you will be able to find it in there somewhere.

Gary BTLowner

12:58 PM, 15th February 2015, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "09/02/2015 - 13:48":

Hi Mark
I have a couple of points to raise re combatting ME but I`m reluctant to put them here where ME can read them. Is there a private email I can send them to you?

Erica Kalezewski

15:24 PM, 14th April 2015, About 7 years ago

The MX consent to let says that the property must not be let to "anyone receiving only DSS benefits".

Having always let to students, this has never been a problem. However, what if a property was let to someone who was working but lost their job mid tenancy and claimed benefits for a while?

The Landlord could not stop the tenant claiming and may not even know about it yet MX could knock on the door and repossess?

How do MX find out? I am aware that DWP have recently started sharing data with CRAs. Has anyone been caught out?

It seems stupid to turn away perfectly good tenants just to avoid giving MX an excuse.

Is there a clever work around? The clause does say "only" so presumably benefits are OK if there is another income of some sort. (Although, I wouldn't want to face an argument with MX about it.)

Looking for some practical advice. Having to stick to students could mean no tenants at all or having to cut the rent significantly. Thanks

Paul Barber

16:26 PM, 24th January 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "07/09/2013 - 12:36":

Anyone looking to move from Mortgage Express and also raise finance can now do so with a new rate just launched last week of 2.55% lifetime tracker upto 75% LTV subject to status and criteria. Most MX customers have had the value of their properties increase over the years so should be able to benefit from this product.

**Advertising content (contact details) removed by moderator - see House Rules **

Sian Smith

9:57 AM, 18th March 2017, About 5 years ago

Anyone tried this in respect of MEX please?

If you have been given bad advice about a mortgage and the firm that gave you advice has gone out of business, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme might be able to pay you compensation for any loss you have suffered because of the bad advice.

You might be able to claim if, for example:

You were advised to ‘self-certify’ your income and got a more expensive mortgage than you needed.
You were sold a mortgage that wasn’t suitable for you at the time because you weren’t advised properly about what was available.
You were sold a mortgage that you would still be paying when you retired and the adviser didn’t check that you’d be able to keep up repayments.
You were advised to switch mortgages but weren’t given an adequate explanation of why you should switch, and the advice to switch resulted in you losing money.
How much could you get?
The scheme can only pay out for financial loss and the maximum you can get depends on when the firm involved went bust and was ‘declared in default’ by the scheme.

Declared in default on or after 1 January 2010 – the scheme can pay a maximum of £50,000 for your mortgage mis-selling claims against one firm.
Declared in default before 1 January 2010 – the scheme can pay the first £30,000 and 90% of the next £20,000, up to a maximum of £48,000 of your mortgage mis-selling claims against one firm.
For example, if you lost £30,000 you could get it all back, but if you lost £45,000 you could get only £43,500 back.

Show Poor investment advice or investment management
hide How to make a claim
Before claiming you should:

Find out if you’re entitled to any money from the liquidators of the company
Check that the firm or the adviser was authorised by the FCA
You should always see if you can claim your money back from the liquidator first. If that doesn’t work, you can then claim from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

You can make a claim online on their website or print off the documents and post them back.

Caroline Humphrey

9:47 AM, 3rd April 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Diana Stanger" at "07/09/2013 - 10:23":

I am in almost exactly the same position and being bullied. We are trying to get people together who have suffered like this. Please contact c and p law associates, and just tell them of your plight by email as we are forming an action group to stop them continueing this bullying
Say caroline contacted you..

Caroline Humphrey

9:58 AM, 3rd April 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob " at "08/09/2013 - 14:56":

I'm in the same situation, there were no arrears and they put lap receivers in who then evicted the paying tenants and STOPPED me selling the property by preventing an interested party have a second viewing! What do I do?


17:17 PM, 12th April 2017, About 5 years ago

Does anyone have a copy of MX terms and conditions 2004 onwards, The purchase was made 2007/2008 they sent copies that look questionable, and copies received have been 2004/2008, I am aware there been a number of versions.

The person needs to know if they have a right to reside in the property, they where informed by their broker it was ok before they took the mortgages however MX states it no longer the case, and the copy they sent for 2004 looks questionable.

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