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Maternity leave = mortgage refusal by INGdirect

(20 Posts)
wheelshavefallenoffthebus Fri 14-Oct-11 11:24:26

We have recently applied for a mortgage with INGdirect. We had decided not to go ahead with it because they wouldnt lend us enough to make it worth our while. We then had a call frontman saying that they were now only prepared to lend us an amount based solely on my husband's income as I have just started maternity leave! Thankfully we were not reliant on getting this mortgage and can just stick with the one we have but I am so pissed off! I went through the terms of my fairly generous maternity leave package with the bank and that I will be returning to work when we applied.
I think I remember there is a way to report this discrimination? Does anyone know who I need to contact?
Thanks

Gonzo33 Fri 14-Oct-11 14:45:00

To be honest, in all the years I have been a mortgage consultant I have not come across this situation.

However, I would imagine in the firt instance you would have to complain directly to ING and if they did not resolve your complaint you could take it to the omdusman.

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/ombudsman-news/37/banking-equal-access.htm

I am not sure how far this would take you though.

Gonzo33 Fri 14-Oct-11 14:45:16

*first not firt

wheelshavefallenoffthebus Mon 17-Oct-11 16:01:07

Thanks.
I did find an old thread from a few years back where people had the same problem (with other banks I think) so unfortunately it sounds like it can happen.

GreenPenguin Mon 17-Oct-11 21:45:32

Unfortunately most lenders do this now. When I queried it with my bank of 20 years, 3 acounts, significant savings etc, they said it's not gender discrimination and they would ask the same of a male applicant (secondment, not mat leave!). There are a few who will lend, but most won't. Tossers.

KatieMortician Mon 17-Oct-11 21:51:00

It's discrimination against a protected characteristic covered by the Equality Act 2010. You could sue them in the civil court.

This is not usual practice in UK banks these days (I used to run a mortgage brokerage a few years ago). What GreenPenguin's bank said is utter rubbish.

GreenPenguin Mon 17-Oct-11 21:56:05

Honest! - I had the same, with slight variations, from most that I applied to. This was in 2011 - maybe a recent development, KatieMortician?? If anyone can be bothered, do a mystery shop to First Direct!

Backinthebox Mon 17-Oct-11 21:58:54

I was going to mention the Equality Act 2010 too. My lender told me that they could not possibly extend my mortgage when I asked for a larger mortgage to cover home improvements, as I might enjoy being a housewife so much I may not return to my job. I'm not going to shout it out here, but I have one of those 'I won the lottery' kind of jobs that I am not inclined to give up. And besides, it's none of their business whether I intend to return or not. The issue is whether you have a valid contract of employment in place at the time you apply. If you do, then it is illegal under the Equality Act 2010 to deny you services based solely on whether you are pregnant or on mat leave.

What is allowable is if they make a decision to lend to you based on your last XXX month's pay slips. But if they do this for you, to stay within the law this has to be the basis for all their applications. IME the lenders who deny mat leavers a mortgage tend to backtrack when you mention the Equality Act 2010.

KatieMortician Mon 17-Oct-11 22:02:51

I believe you but I disagree with what you've been told. Although First Direct are slightly different to other lenders in that they look at just affordability instead of salary multiples and affordability.

i forget who but some bank recently got into bother for trying discriminate due to pregnancy/maternity or sex.

iarebaboon Mon 17-Oct-11 22:07:30

We've got a newish mortgage with ING and I'm on maternity leave. They didn't ask and I didn't mention it. Wouldn't have occured to me To tell them. At what point in the process would it cone up? I'm a bit scared now

Ellefabulosa Mon 17-Oct-11 22:09:39

My broker checked with the lenders before doing the application for me - natwest were absolutely fine about it and based it on my full salary that I was receiving at that point of the maternity leave. I was pleased and relieved and recommend an experienced broker in this sort of situation.

KatieMortician Mon 17-Oct-11 22:22:37

I recommend not telling. You don't need to. Really it is none of their business and they're not allowed to ask even if you come in the size of a hippo with child.

Santander, Nationwide, C&G (therefore Lloyds), Woolwich (therfore Barclays), RBS and HSBC (not First Direct mind) and loads of Building Societies won't ask.

Backinthebox Tue 18-Oct-11 06:24:24

KatieMortician, Woolwich and Barclays are both guilty of discrimination. I have my mortgage with Woolwich, and during the process of applying for the extension I twice had to mention to them that the Ombudsman would be interested to hear about their attitude towards a woman on maternity leave.

KatieMortician Tue 18-Oct-11 09:25:26

That's utterly shocking. I'd like to think it is the odd isolated case of someone being a prat rather than policy but to be on the safe side I think it's best just to not tell. A bit of planning so you don't apply when you are in the SMP, unpaid part and no one need ever know.

RockChick1984 Wed 19-Oct-11 00:02:24

If they are offering to lend to you based on last 3 payslips (which many do) then this is not discrimination as long as all applications are based on this. Just out of interest, does anyone know if it will make a difference now that SMP can be (effectively) passed on for the baby's dad to take if mum goes back to work, would it still be covered by equalities act so long as they have the same policy if a man is taking extended paternity leave?

wheelshavefallenoffthebus Thu 20-Oct-11 12:58:19

Iarebaboon i informed them when they asked about nursery costs for ds1 otherwise it wouldn't have come up. I said the costs would reduce as I was going to be on maternity leave for a year. I get a fairly good (nhs) maternity package so went through all of that with them and told them when I would be going back to work. We had supplied payslips which were fine as I wasn't on maternity leave when we applied.
The mortgage broker we used knew I was about to go on mat leave and unknown to me hadn't mentioned it to the bank. I thought being honest was best but apparently not in this situation!

Lcy Sun 23-Oct-11 20:34:10

We recently got a mortgage from Halifax and had to do the mortgage based on my husbands salary because they would not count my well paid and permenent salary as I was on maternity leave. Felt like we were back in the dark ages.

MJlovesscareypants Mon 24-Oct-11 15:17:43

Message withdrawn

bedford99 Thu 18-Oct-12 21:25:03

I thought I would comment on this thread although quite old for anyone reading in the future. I am not a mum, or a father but I am a mortgage broker.

I won't get into the issue of discrimination and what isn't legal - but I will say this much, if you are returning to work within 3 months most lenders want confirmation that you will return on full hours or what your pro rata income and any child care costs will be and work from these.

And there are a handful that will take your full income however far away your intended return to work. If you misslead a lender and they find out about it you will have a red flag against your name with pretty much every lender in the in the country afterwards due to fraud prevention databases like hunter.

and the scenario hasn't changed over the last year so this was true when this thread was live, so speak to a good fee free mortgage adviser or two if you need help. They aren't all bad!

wickedfairy Tue 23-Oct-12 09:57:40

When we remortgaged a few years ago, I was on mat leave. The mortgage company would not take my salary into account and would only use my mat leave goverment payments.

I spoke to them and they agreed that if I got a letter from my work with my salary on it and my return to work date, that would be acceptable. Did this and got the mortgage, although it was a pain. Not sure if it made the difference when I pointed out that we couldn't afford our then current mortgage on one salary, so I would definitely be returning to work anyway and wouldn't they rather have my business than the current lenders??....

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