“We nearly lost dream home because bank got jitters over wage subsidy”
A leading bank was set to deny a couple a mortgage to buy their dream home, just as they were about to draw down the loan.
Permanent TSB had concerns that the employer of one of them was availing of the wage subsidy scheme, even though neither of the pair is on the wage subsidy scheme.
The bank later climbed down, and now says it was a mistake to deny the couple their mortgage at the last minute.
Only after the Irish Independent asked the bank questions about the case did it perform a u-turn.
The couple, who do not want to be named publicly, had sold an apartment and been living with relatives.
They were just about to move to their new north county Dublin home when the bank pulled the plug.
The family in the house they are planning to buy had also sold up.
The couple had been led to believe they were good for the mortgage and were close to moving to their new home.
The family selling the new house to them had moved out of the house in preparation for the sale which included moving out two young children and five dogs.
The couple have a combined income of €160,000.
The husband is an in-house legal counsel for an online travel agency and the wife has a senior role in a public service body.
Despite the high income they had to sell their car to clear the loan on it, to satisfy the bank.
Last November the bank asked for a letter from the man’s employer confirming that he was not then in receipt of the State’s wage subsidy scheme.
His employer provided a letter saying that it was using the scheme, but because his salary exceeds the cap for the scheme, it would not apply to his salary.
“In response to submitting this letter, PTSB sent our final mortgage approval to our solicitor the first week of December 2020 for us to execute, which we did.”
He added: “At no point did Permanent TSB say the wage subsidy was an issue.
“And at no point from initial application to request to draw down had our financial circumstances changed in any way.”
So the couple signed the mortgage documents and contract for sale for the new house, and proceeded to complete the sale of their apartment. They moved in with relatives in Westmeath.
In January PTSB came back looking for two further letters asking if their income had been, or would be, impacted by Covid prior to drawdown.
“We signed both as luckily neither of our salaries were impacted.”
Out the blue PTSB said that unless his employer stopped accepting the Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme it would not proceed with the loan.
This left them with no home and no mortgage to buy their new one, while the family that planned to sell to them were in limbo.
Broker Michael Dowling appealed the refusal to allow the mortgage to proceed, but to no avail.
PTSB said “the issue that arose in this case should not have arisen and the error was on our side”.
It said it was contacting the customers to apologise, and reviewing why its systems allowed the mistake to happen.
News by independent.ie, edited by Dowling Financial.
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