Mortgage adviser pays more than $3,000 to end complaint

A mortgage adviser has paid more than $3000 to a woman after a delayed application for a mortgage led to costly engagement with another broker.

The decision came after the matter was considered by the disputes resolution organisation, Financial Services Complaints Ltd  (FSCL).

The case concerned a woman named only as Judy, and none of the mortgage professionals involved in the case were named. 

Judy had recently been discharged from bankruptcy, and feared her loan application to buy a house might not be straightforward, so she contacted a mortgage adviser for help.

Judy said the adviser was confident he could arrange finance, so she signed a sale and purchase agreement.

Over subsequent weeks, there was no progress, and with a settlement date looming, Judy was forced to ask for a two week extension of time from the vendor.

Two and a half months after Judy first contacted the adviser, and with days to go before settlement, Judy asked another mortgage adviser for help.

This mortgage adviser said she would have to delay other work and asked Judy to pay a $2,000 urgent application fee. Judy agreed.

Within 48 hours, the second mortgage adviser had arranged finance and Judy was able to purchase the property.

However, Judy complained to the first mortgage adviser, accusing him of empty promises which caused her stress and additional costs. 

She then sought $2,000 as compensation for the urgency fee paid to the second broker and $2500 for her legal costs, along with unspecified dfamages for worry and stress. 

When the mortgage adviser did not respond, Judy contacted FSCL.

When internal mediation failed to resolve the matter, FSCL started an investigation.

On looking closer, FSCL accepted that much of the lawyer's fee would have been incurred anyway, without any complications, but it found she did incur extra legal costs of $260 and a further $150 for arranging a LIM report.

After further discussions, it was accepted that compensation of $1000 would be appropriate for stress and inconvenience.

FSCL then proposed a total compensation package of $3,310. The mortgage adviser then expressed some dissatisfaction and accused FSCL of taking Judy's side. 

After further discussion, with the possibility of formal arbitration by FSCL hanging over the case, the mortgage adviser said he did not want to take any more time over the complaint.

He then offered to pay $3,310 to resolve the complaint, which Judy accepted.

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