Wednesday, June 29 2022

I had bad credit in the past when I fell behind on a few loans while I was laid off and before I could start working again. I applied for a mortgage recently but it was declined and I can’t understand why it should be like this as I have a good job and income and really thought it was going to be accepted. I recently read that some credit reports were saved by mistake and wonder if mine was one of them. I repaid all my loans except for a car loan on which I repay in full. Is there a way to find out what’s going on and what my options are for getting a mortgage?

Sinead replies: It is disappointing that the lender did not explain the reasons for their refusal, because that would certainly dispel any doubts you have. You could write to them asking for this because if, as you suspect, this unpaid debt is still recorded on the central credit register (CCR), then you can certainly seek to have it removed, or have a short account attached ( up to 200 words) to explain the situation.

My advice at this point would be to reapply for a mortgage, but this time through a mortgage broker. First, it’s much easier; second, they may specifically check in detail what information is withholding from you and seek to have it processed; thirdly, they can better advise you which lender would be suitable for your
situation.

Not every bank wants every mortgage, but you can’t know the state of the land, but the brokers have business managers they deal with at each of the banks who can review your application with them in detail. At the very least, you won’t be left in the dark.

Separately, although there have been recent cases where the Bank of Ireland was fined €463,000 in April after inaccurate data was sent to the CCR for some customers by mistake, you should know that you can request your own credit report to at least see the information held about you.

There is no charge and you can complete the online form at centralcreditregister.ie who, after providing proper ID, will send you whatever the banks see about your past (and that’s mostly for last two years that lenders are interested) in lending
The data.

Good luck, and remember that no loan is ever denied forever; sometimes a refusal may simply mean not now.

My wife and I own our home. We have identical wills that bequeath all of our assets and property to each other. However, the title deeds are in my name only as she moved into my house when we got married, which was rather late in life, and sold her apartment to pay off my then remaining mortgage, the rest being put in saving. Will it ever be a problem – for example, if I have to die first? Is there any retrospective action we can take now?

Sinead replies: I’m glad you made a will.

It’s the single most important step you can take to secure your future wishes and, as you’re no doubt aware, there are no tax implications to leaving an entire estate to a spouse (although you may wish to hold account of what will happen after the second of you passes if you have children – and especially if you do not).

William Tilley, Senior Partner, Ivor Fitzpatrick & Co Solicitors, says: “Irish law generally states that marriage revokes a will unless it was made ‘in anticipation of marriage’. When you and your wife are married, any wills made before the date of the marriage are automatically revoked. Although spouses have strong legal rights, the most reasonable situation for a husband and wife is to each have a half share in a house and live as “joint tenants” as opposed to “tenants in common”. “. This allows each spouse to be a half owner and the surviving spouse automatically receives half of the deceased in the house in the event of death.

“Conversely, in the context of a situation of tenants in common, each spouse receives a share according to the sum of money that he brought to the purchase of the house. The Succession Act 1965 may come into play in your situation if you die first. If there is no will or your will is considered invalid, the law may state that your wife can receive two-thirds of the family home and the rest would be divided among your children, if any.

“You do not specify whether you have children or not. This would be primary information that any lawyer would need before giving substantive advice. If you don’t have children, chances are your wife (assuming you die first) is automatically entitled to everything.

“In the absence of details, I strongly advise consulting a notary to discuss the need for a new will (if yours was drawn up before the marriage), and to organize the transfer of the house to co-ownership (which is not is not too expensive)”.

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