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Charging for mortgage certificates

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Does anyone charge a fee to their clients for the preparation of a mortgage certificate?

I haven't yet, but am sorely tempted to now.   They are annoying enough as it is, but the 'I'm sorry I didn't have the foresight to plan ahead like a functioning adult but I need this right now!!!!' requests are starting to really irritate me.

Do people charge for these?  Are there hidden pitfalls in doing so?   My only concern is that the clients may want to tailor my response if they think they are paying for it, but otherwise any risks?

Replies (17)

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By Paul Crowley
05th Nov 2020 13:53

ICAEW recommends not
Some I do, dependent on number of emails
Do not charge for the actual certifcate, just the numerous calls and emails surrounding the issue.
One client wife complained about fee £100. Told client to ignore the fee and pay what he thought was reasonable for the time involved. Apparently I am worthless.
One less tax return to worry about. Result good for all.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
05th Nov 2020 17:23

Yes, I recall ICAEW advising not, so I don't. It's not exactly much of an earner and the client would still ask for it whether or not there's a charge.

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By CazzyT
05th Nov 2020 14:51

We don't charge but I absolutely share your frustration.

"but I've put an offer in, I need it today"

Well, lucky I didn't have anything else to do .......

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By JD
05th Nov 2020 14:58

I must confess at times to have advised Santander and the like of my fee for completion of yet another one of those certificates, given that it is the bank (not the client) that requires us to undertake the work and potentially entering into a risk, if it goes wrong.

It is surprising how many suddenly do not need completing after all.

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By jon_griffey
05th Nov 2020 15:09

It is professional work and it involves time and risk and so you are entitled to charge for it.

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By Calculatorboy
05th Nov 2020 15:18

I always charge client for additional services,its in engage letter.

Just keep it factual,historical data, ignore the lender boxes requesting opinion on whether client can afford it,is solvent, etc

dont put forecast figures in , explain future is outside control of accountant .

I might include statement of his past record

I think risk is minimal, but get very few requests now - mainly for copy sa302 , tax overview , I charge for that as well

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By Calculatorboy
05th Nov 2020 15:20

ps ICAEW recommend not charging because they are timid mice , and have the luxury of not working in the real world where we have to earn a crust .

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By Mr_awol
05th Nov 2020 15:54

A basic bit of info every five years on renewal, no charge.

Regular or repeat requests - because theyve gone to another lender, or because they are always leveraging their rental portfolio, absolutely.

It particularly grates when the 'broker' (i.e. smug git using a glorified version of moneysupermarket on a laptop' asks for something stupid and you try to clarify but they latch onto any offer and want that 'just in case the underwriters need it'. Because it's fine to waste the accountants time (who often isnt getting paid) to save the mortgage advisor (who is getting paid) hassle.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Truthsayer
05th Nov 2020 16:54

Particularly the brokers who STILL claim that some lenders will only accept HMRC generated SA302's, or demand the 'full' accounts not the 'abbreviated' ones when you give them FRS105 accounts, or ask where the dividends are on FRS105 accounts, or ask why the salary and dividend figures differ between company accounts and SATR's (and then ask the same question again later, after you've already explained that they cover different periods)......

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Replying to Truthsayer:
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By Paul Crowley
05th Nov 2020 19:35

I send a copy of The ICAEW 002/01 Formerly Audit 002/01 Regularly

https://www.icaew.com/-/media/corporate/files/technical/technical-releas...

And this

https://www.gov.uk/sa302-tax-calculation

SO so so many times

Jerk lending agents do tell a lot of porkies to bewildered potential borrowers

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By spilly
05th Nov 2020 20:41

We charge for reference letters and by extension for mortgage form completions. Only at £25 + vat but it mostly covers the admin time spent.
Clients pay up OK at this level. I think they might baulk if it was £100 or more.

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By OldParkAcct
05th Nov 2020 22:43

Normally depends on what it’s for, if the client is moving home then probably no charge, if they are remortgaging then it’s a charge. Basically as they are doing it to save money so that saving should be shared! Fee depends on client, how efficient broker is and how many times the lender wants the information presented in different formats, but varies between £150/£500.

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By clark.hall
06th Nov 2020 08:14

First request is usually for SA302’s which I send out with an email “if cert needed the fee will be £195”. Half come back for certificate (which contributes to sorting SA302’s etc) and never quibble the fee.
I have explained to some that there’s of cost of insurance and licences to be able to provide the certificate not just time.
Remember furlough - not valuing your time leads to more and more requests for freebies.

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By wilcoskip
06th Nov 2020 11:54

Comes down to what the lender/broker wants. If it's just calcs and TYOs, then I don't charge.
Anything more than that and I tend to go with £95, unless multiple companies are involved (had to do seven different certificates for one client last month.)
As others have noted, the annoying thing is the expectation that we can respond to a request instantly, if not sooner.

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By mrme89
07th Nov 2020 01:20

Everyone professional in the mortgage chain earns a nice sum.

I reluctantly include estate agents in that who do very little other than sticking the property on Right Move.

Why shouldn’t you charge for an additional service? A service that is probably more valued by the client than you telling the client how much tax they owe.

I find it ironic that we try and advise clients to be more commercially astute but often do freebies such as this.

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By Ben Alligin
10th Nov 2020 10:17

Perhaps the ICAEW could have a word with The Law Society. The last time I had to get a document certified by a solicitor it cost me a few hundred quid for looking at two original documents and sticking their stamp and signature on it.
God bless the ICAEW - practical as ever.

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By indomitable
10th Nov 2020 17:20

ICAEW advise not because it argues that if you charge you create an extra duty of care in respect of the reference which creates a higher risk of being sued. Better not to charge.

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