Should we listen to our financial advisor?

Our lawyer, Fiona McNulty warns that accepting bad advice from an IFA can result in mortgage fraud
IFA mortgage advice cartoon
© Merrily Harpur
Question: My husband and I are buying a property. The mortgage offer is in my name and states that our solicitor must provide a letter confirming my husband and I are separated, live apart and that I get a monthly dividend from my husband’s company. None of this is true.

Our IFA says that if our solicitor won’t do the letter we must use another firm as he says we will not get a mortgage any other way because of my husband’s bad credit - the only thing he has done is be late with some credit card payments. What do we do?

Answer: This is mortgage fraud. Your IFA must have given your lender inaccurate information in your mortgage application which either you signed or the information was added after you signed the form.

Speak to your solicitor who should refuse to provide the letter as if your solicitor did provide such letter that would implicate your solicitor in mortgage fraud as well.

Your IFA has suggested you use another firm hoping that not knowing your family circumstances and if told from the outset that you were separated etc the new solicitor would then provide the required information to the lender.

Tell your IFA that the mortgage offer has been made based on inaccurate information which was not provided by you and I suggest that you dis-instruct that IFA and then consult a reputable IFA who can help you to sort out a new mortgage. Making late payments on credit cards will not necessarily preclude your husband from getting a mortgage.

You could report your IFA to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and your solicitor may already have reported the IFA to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

What's your problem?

If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors

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