House hunters can extend their mortgage approval if they need more time to find a home due to coronavirus restrictions.
The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published guidance for customers who are engaged in the mortgage application process.
It addresses questions for those seeking to apply for a mortgage approval, those who already have it or those who are seeking to draw-down a mortgage.
For those who have secured mortgage approval, but who may now need more time to find a home, lenders can extend the period of a mortgage approval where the customer’s circumstances have not materially changed.
And for those who have mortgage approval but who have experienced a loss in income due to COVID-19, a lender can keep this application open on its system for a period of time.
It can then be reviewed and the customer can provide an update on his/her employment situation.
The BPFI says: "This approach is considered to be clearly in the interest of both the customer and the lender in ensuring that mortgages are not extended to those who cannot now or in the immediate future afford them."
According to BPFI, there will be many customers who are further along the application stage and perhaps worried about how the current crisis may impact this process.
But it is seeking to reassure them that lenders are facilitating mortgage draw-downs within the normal timeframe, where all the standard requirements have been fulfilled.
It adds: "It’s important to bear in mind that some delay may occur due to factors beyond the lender’s control, for example, the ability of valuers to conduct a full inspection of a property or of legal practitioners to access everything that is required for them to complete all steps."
BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes says: "In these increasingly uncertain times BPFI is today seeking to provide reassurance and clarity to customers who are at various stages of the mortgage application process be that someone who is thinking of applying for a new mortgage, someone who has secured a mortgage approval or indeed someone who is about to drawdown on their mortgage."
"At whatever stage applicants may be in the mortgage process, should they have any concerns we would encourage them to read the information available on the BPFI’s website in the first instance.
"And if they have any further questions beyond that to contact their lender who will advise them on their particular situation".
BPFI represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.
The mortgage guidance can be found here