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manager gave incorrect information to the mortgage company about maternity pay

(30 Posts)
hatgirl Thu 26-Jun-14 21:21:55

When we applied for a mortgage a few years ago my manager filled in a declaration form about my sickness/ maternity rights.

On it they wrote that I was entitled to 6 months full pay and six months half pay for both sickness and maternity.

The mortgage advisor at the time commented that it was a generous maternity package.

I work for a local authority so thought nothing of it and at the time had no immediate plans to reproduce so didn't think to double check. I have since looked at the local authorities maternity package and actually (although doing this from memory so may be a few weeks out) I get 90% pay for 6 weeks and then SMP and half pay for 18 weeks and then just SMP.

I can only assume my manager didn't think to check new terms and conditions and wrote down out of date information.

We got a mortgage rate on the basis that I would get six months full pay and six months half pay. I now know that isn't the case, but that doesn't change the fact that our mortgage isn't affordable on what my actual maternity pay is. As I am also the main earner in the household this is a huge issue.

I don't know what to do.

Eminybob Thu 26-Jun-14 21:36:41

That is very unusual for a mortgage company to ask for a declaration on what your maternity pay is when you weren't pregnant or planning to be. (Worked in mortgages for 10 years, never come across that one)

If you had found out at the time what the actual conditions were, would you have taken a lower mortgage? (Given that you weren't planning a family at that time) I'm pretty sure that your lender wouldn't have reduced your borrowing power based on what you may get paid should you decide to have kids confused

Or would you have not started a family had you known what the conditions were?

hatgirl Thu 26-Jun-14 21:44:47

It was just after everything crashed and lenders were being VERY careful. This particular lender was willing to give a very good rate to first time buyers but on the basis of full disclosure of all our finances and future financial planning.

Very sensible of them in my opinion and it really made us think about what we could and couldn't afford. grin

So yes, if I had known at the time what my actual maternity pay conditions would be there is a good chance we would have gone for a different mortgage deal or even reconsidered if we could have afforded the (family) home we bought and bought a typical first time buyers type house instead. We thought we were making good sensible decisions!

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Thu 26-Jun-14 21:48:17

Are you worried that your mortgage company will take action? Or are you now pregnant and just realised this isn't your package?

Eminybob Thu 26-Jun-14 21:52:31

Are you currently pregnant or TTC? I bought my house knowing that I couldn't afford the mortgage payments when I went down to smp, but I have been saving like mad since starting TTC so I have savings to top up my income until I go back to work. I know this won't help if you are already pregnant though.
I wouldn't have changed it because I bought my house as a family house, knowing I'd need to make sacrifices, but we need the extra room for when baby comes (4 weeks!)

hatgirl Thu 26-Jun-14 21:54:39

not pregnant but thinking about it so decided to check my maternity package.

Worried that the mortgage company has essentially been given false information.

Also a bit worried that i'm going to be homeless if I do get pregnant, I know we just need to save but but i'm not exactly a spring chicken and I don't really have many years to save up and still go on to have lots of babies

Eminybob Thu 26-Jun-14 22:01:37

Can I ask which mortgage company it is? Im sceptical that a lender gave you a special deal on the basis of your maternity package. Like I say I've worked in mortgages for years and not come across that. Even now lending has gotten even tighter with mmr, but it isn't a requirement to ask that.

However, that said, if you made a financial decision based on what you thought the package was, it must be concerning that it isn't what you thought. But like you said, you weren't planning a family at the time.

I don't think there is anything you can do really other than save save save. Plus everyone I know who has had children says that you find a way to make it work financially. You'll cut back in other ways, just make sure your mortgage us top priority.

perfectview Thu 26-Jun-14 22:02:16

It wasn't you that gave the information and it is perfectly possible that you could have changed to a different job with a worse maternity pay package since applying so not sure how this reassures the mortgage company in any way that you will always be able to afford the mortgage. I was told when we applied for a mortgage when pregnant that they couldn't let a potential drop in income count against you, we had three months pay slips of income and that was what it was based on. Surely they would otherwise be getting into discrimination territory?

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 26-Jun-14 22:04:56

What you do is save up so that you have enough money bearing in mind your actual pay during your maternity leave.

Eminybob Thu 26-Jun-14 22:07:32

Perfect is right. It's discrimination to base a lending decision on future plans for children. What if you decided never to have them?. If it had been a man applying on his own for a mortgage they wouldn't have asked for that info.

hatgirl Thu 26-Jun-14 22:09:29

It wasn't a special deal based on my maternity package alone but a good deal at the time based on a number of factors including a high deposit (the reason we don't have a lot of savings) secure employment and yes my sickness/ maternity package as the main earner. Thinking it through now I was on the brink between a temporary contract being made permanent and they needed assurance from my manager that this was definitely going to happen. Along with this they asked for the information about maternity sickness pay.

It was The Cumberland Building Society. I still have a copy of the form that my manager filled in and faxed to them with my employment terms on. They wouldn't agree the mortgage without it. It basically says:

'contract type' - permanent
'sickness pay entitlement' 6 months full pay 6 months half pay
'maternity entitlement' 6 months full pay 6 months half pay

Signed: hatgirl's manager

Blankiefan Thu 26-Jun-14 22:13:22

Are you looking for someone to say "that's terrible, you should chase them to honour what your manager put in the form"?

Blankiefan Thu 26-Jun-14 22:14:09

Apologies - just re-read it and that sounds harsher than intended.... No offense...

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Thu 26-Jun-14 22:16:03

Hat girl, I don't think you need to worry about the mortgage company coming after you with a big stick, as a pp said, you could have changed jobs several times by now.

Focus on saving and TTC!

hatgirl Thu 26-Jun-14 22:22:19

Blankiefan no just a bit ... down... I think. Suddenly i've gone from being in a position to be able to start trying for children when the time is right to being in a position where we are going to have to save pretty hard for 18 months - 2 years for me to be able to have anything more than 4 - 5 months off on maternity just for 1 child never mind any more. When you are in your early - mid 30's 18 months - 2 years seems (to me) quite a long time/ gamble to further put off TTC. Thats no one's fault but ours but in fairness we were unaware of our true financial position!

I'm annoyed at myself for not double checking at the time, and yes and I am upset that my manager didn't check at the time either.

I know they won't honour it but I guess it would have been wonderful if everyone had piled in on the thread telling me that they had to grin.

Blankiefan Thu 26-Jun-14 22:30:32

OP - if it makes you feel any better, I've recently gone back to work 6 months after having my gorgeous dd. I was pretty keen to get back after 3 months! A shortish mat leave isn't the worst thing for everyone - not so long ago, loads of working women only got 6 weeks. It depends on the individual...

LoveSardines Thu 26-Jun-14 22:31:12

That sickness pay entitlement sounds very generous too!

Don't worry about the mortgage company. 1. It wasn't you who provided the into 2. You have the mortgage now and presumably have been paying it each month which what is important to them now

About having a baby you have a few options:

1. Get a job with a better mat package and wait til you've been there long enough to qualify
2. Save up
3. Don't take a whole year mat leave
4. There are probably more!

If I were you I'd be looking at a combo of options 2 and 3.

LoveSardines Thu 26-Jun-14 22:32:16

Oh or you could move obviously but that would probably cost more money than it saved.

Sure others will have some other suggestions.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Thu 26-Jun-14 22:45:12

Could DH share your maternity leave, especially as you are the higher earner?

If you saved up holiday and took it at the start or end of your maternity leave, that might help extend you to six months in total.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Thu 26-Jun-14 22:46:24

Btw, the package is actually pretty good - I doubt you'd get much better if you moved. 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay would be remarkable.

chanie44 Fri 27-Jun-14 08:09:29

The sick and maternity pay packaged may have been that at the time your manager made that disclosure, but could have been changed by collective agreement afterwards.

LIZS Fri 27-Jun-14 08:16:13

It is unlikely to become an issue unless you remortgage or switch lender. However can you afford the repayments while on ML on that basis. It is still pretty generous tbh.

trixymalixy Fri 27-Jun-14 08:23:04

That's still an extremely generous mat pay package. I just got stat maternity pay.

I can understand you're disappointed but there's no point on dwelling on it, they're extremely unlikely to honour it.

Even if you moved jobs it's unlikely you'd get a better package anywhere else, so you'd best get saving, sorry.

prettybird Fri 27-Jun-14 08:27:17

As others have said: you could've changed jobs by now and anyway, those might've been the policies at the time.

If you're getting on and worried about your biological clock, then you'll have to do a combination of the 2 and 3 mentioned above/below. When I had ds, you only got 4 months maternity leave if you wanted your old job "guaranteed" back. I was fine with that smile

You can also explore whether you can take mortgage holidays. Our mortgage, iirc, allows 3 "missed" (by prior arrangement) per year. Prolongs your mortgage of course and will cost you in interest - but as your maternity leave is a "limited time event", might be something worth considering.

eurochick Fri 27-Jun-14 08:29:33

I think you're focussing on the wrong issue. You just need to make sure that you can afford the mortgage if you have a baby. You could do that by saving in advance or taking a short mat leave or taking a short mat leave and then transferring your leave to your lower earning partner.

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