BBC Investigates Mortgage Advisors

Once someone has completed their CeMAP training, they become a trainee mortgage advisor and most choose to complete their Competent Advisor Status with a mortgage broker firm.

On Monday, the BBC aired an investigation showing mortgage advisors helping illegal immigrant obtain mortgages by deception.

The BBC was approached by three trainee mortgage advisors, who claimed they had been told by their employer, LPA (London Professional Academy) to falsify information on mortgage application forms, including the nationality and passport details of immigrants and ask accountants to set up ghost companies to ensure foreign immigrants appeared as prime borrowers.

In response, the BBC sent an undercover Somalian journalist to see this mortgage advice company, telling them that he was an illegal immigrant with no ID and had no bank account.  He was told they could help him.  The business card he was given said ‘CMS Mortgages – authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority’.  However, upon checking with the FSA, this company was terminated in November 2007.

All mortgage firms must be regulated by a company on behalf of the FSA and in this case, the company who had regulated them whilst they were registered with the FSA were Network Data Ltd.  Network Data Ltd said they had terminated their relationship with the FSA because of poor quality and a spokesperson said:

“Following a business review we have decided to terminate CMS Mortgages. Whilst we couldn’t find specific evidence, there are links to, and similar patterns to, other recent cases where we have had to terminate firms for fraud.”

The trainee mortgage advisors also said they were always instructed to put ‘British’ on the mortgage application forms, no matter where the applicant was from.

Trainee A told BBC London: “On the original application, they always used to disclose as British even though they were not British – they were from Uganda, from Nigeria. And they told me to mention on every single application that the client was British. And sometimes I challenged them and said this is not right, because I want to be trained as a good advisor, and what you are doing is not the right way, so I was feeling uncomfortable.”

The full story can be found on the BBC website Mortgage Brokers Fix Immigrant Loans.

When CeMAP training is completed, delegates are aware of what is right and what is not and they should not hesitate in coming forward if they are asked to do anything they feel uncomfortable with.



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