Hard footprints ‘make unwelcome return’

David French

April 5, 2008

Despite the Council of Mortgage Lenders stating in January 2007 that applications-in-principle (AIP) and decisions-in-principle (DIP) would not leave a hard footprint visible to other lenders, a broker, who wished to remain anonymous, suggested that a number of lenders had confessed to him that they had stopped using soft footprints.

In the current climate, he suggested, it was even more damaging to borrowers’ hopes of achieving home ownership and called for lenders to act within ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ guidelines.

He said: “In the current market borrowers need to shop around more than ever before, but they are being stopped because any AIPs are coming up as hard footprints.

“After a couple of enquiries, lenders will start to ask questions about the borrower and might refuse the deal because they can see the history.”

He added: “It is becoming harder for us to place deals so there will be more shopping around and more applications completed, because the product you want might not be around the next day. But lenders seem to be ignoring this and putting a hard footprint on straight away.

“Products are being pulled every day with little notice, so there will be more applications filled out that don’t lead to a completion.”

Alex Hammond, PR manager at Kensington, said: “Kensington leaves only a light footprint when providing the borrower with a mortgage commitment. A heavy footprint is left only if a packager requests the full credit report.”

Clare Mortimer, senior media relations manager at BM Solutions, added: “Our approach to footprints remains unchanged. We continue to use soft footprints for DIP.”

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