When the top judge is not a good enough guarantor

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For most generations, the security of owning your own home is worth some effort. Often applicants need a helping financial hand from their family and frequently this is in the form of giving a guarantee.

Imagine a mortgage provider receiving just such an application, guaranteed by a distinguished professional with a sizeable six-figure annual salary.

The person – at the top of their profession – was still working at 71 years.

The home loan on behalf of the individual’s daughter was turned down!

Not because the applicant was unsuitable or the property outside their specification or because the guarantor’s salary was insufficient but because the latter was “too old”.

The Lord Chief Justice of England revealed this appalling personal situation at the Mansion House last week. Lord Judge was speaking at the Mayoral dinner for the Judiciary. His name, title and salary were on the application form.

Just what sort of mortgage provider sets up a vetting procedure that rejects such a well-supported applicant?

Was an annual £239,845 salary inadequate? Was the occupation inappropriate? The still unknown mortgage provider gave age as the reason.

It is not known if this was a computer-generated rejection where the specification was set by mindless technicians.

However, as we await competitor banks and building societies dissociating themselves from such a policy, ageism should be no part of their process. A moment’s referral of such paperwork would see a rejection would be nonsense.

The daughter of the most senior judge in the land had lived in Malawi and not been a UK resident for two years. The lack of an immediate financial trail should be no problem if an applicant can be backed by a guarantor and especially one of note.

The refusal was on grounds of age. No question was presumably asked of the judge’s assets if interest on the home loan had been unpaid.

Mortgage lenders have no right to refuse on grounds of age. The one concerned should be unmasked but collectively they are keeping silent.

This does the reputation of such financial providers – already at a low level – no service.

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