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Halifax Mortgage Complaint

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New poster on here and a bit long and complicated this one so bear with me and I hope someone can help.

I have raised this as a complaint with The Halifax.



In summer 2011 I put my house on the market as I got a better job in another area and the commute would have been too far and costly.



The sellers market was not the best at the time and I struggled to get any interest even with a lower price.

I reluctantly decided to rent out the property and phoned The Halifax to inform them of my intention, the first person I spoke to said all I needed to do was call back when I had a tenant and they would note it.

When a tenant was found I called The Halifax back to inform them.



But this time I was told I would need to go on a consent to lease mortgage that attracted a higher rate, increasing my monthly payment by £200 and a £1499 product fee would be added to the mortgage.



I explained that this increase would be detrimental to my circumstances several times, also that the last thing I wanted was to be a landlord, just to get rid of the house and move on. The alternative was a lower paid job or the dole.



I also complained at the time about being given the wrong information about consent to lease, for this, they waived the valuation fee of £110 but I made clear I was still unhappy and only continuing because I had no other choice.

I moved out to a rental property nearer to my workplace and informed the local Halifax branch of my new address and also informed the mortgage centre of the new correspondence address.



Turns out that they continued to send letters to the mortgaged property and luckily the tenant kept them to one side and did not open them, I phoned the mortgage centre to tell them what had happened, they apologised and made a payment of £35 as a goodwill gesture.



I was able to transfer to a nearer workplace tho my mortgaged property so I gave my tenants notice to move out.

I informed the mortgage centre that I was moving back in and again asked them to update my records and take the consent to lease indicator off the mortgage.



I wanted to check my credit file so to make sure everything was ok both with the mortgage and with other accounts and I noticed that the address on the mortgage detail was an address I had not lived at for two years.

Also, they have not removed the consent to lease.



I also read the MCOB guidelines and interpreted them as saying that if a product was unsuitable then it should not be sold and that the customer should seek I independent advice, I was not informed about any of this when sorting out the consent to lease, despite me constantly saying it would cause difficulty and asking about other solutions.



I would like to hope that MCOB applies in some way because I really do think that there was another solution.

I would imagine Halifax's response would be that because I was no longer living at the property and it was no longer a residential mortgage, there was more risk involved for them, ignoring the fact that it made my position worse and added more onto my outstanding mortgage balance.



With regards to the poor handling of information I gave them, it was not just the once, but three times they failed to update the address accordingly.



This is not just a mortgage centre problem, Halifax credit cards also have difficulty in updating addresses as they did the same thing, luckily our mail was redirected and we were able to change it, but with the mortgage, for some reason the address reverted to an old one, who knows who got hold of any letters.



Any advice on my next move, anyone with knowledge of MCOB and wether it applies in this sort of situation, or some general pointers on what my next step should be when I get a response would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your patience in reading this.

Edited by citizenB
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An update on the above.

I have received a response from The Halifax about my compliant, they have upheld my complaint about the changing of the addresses and offered £350 as compensation.

They have not upheld my complaint about the consent to lease mortgage though.

Despite me informing them in June that I had moved back into the property they say they have no notes on the system, apart from notes from last October were they requested a utility bill over the phone to prove that I was living there.

There was (and still is) a lot going on at the time and I did not send the bill, I said that because The Halifax had an incorrect correspondence address, I would not have received any reminders, but they say they wouldn't have sent anything out to remind or notify me by post anyway, which I find a bit odd personally.

I would be really grateful for some pointers and/or help on this as my understanding of MCOB and wether I have a valid complaint is limited.

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