The bailiff and the bullet: A Guest Blog

on 21 October 2016

Sometimes people move home because they have to. Sometimes they move home because they want to. Occasionally people move home because they need to. Whatever the reason may be, the result feels like a new clean start for most of us.

Ah, but not always.

You may think that by closing the door behind you on the day of the move that you are closing a chapter on your life with nothing but selfie-stick photographs to remind you of your time there. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. You could be leaving behind a whole host of troubles.

At London Money, we’ll probably look to arrange £100m of lending in the year ahead and one of the most important questions we ask is “What is your 3-year address history?”. The responses to this can vary greatly from “We’ve been at the same address for the past 10 years”, through to “Well, I’ve moved around quite a bit, the post still goes to my parents address but I’ve never settled anywhere long enough to bother registering”.

Have a guess at which answer the lenders prefer to hear.

Why is that? Well quite simply many people think that by dropping the keys back through the letterbox they are absolving themselves from all previous sins. The banks realise this and rather than chase an individual all around the country they’ll use their former address to check their credit history. The bank knows that, coastal erosion aside, the property won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Businesses that are not paid for their services know this too which is why they are not shy about slapping on a County Court Judgement (CCJ) – a disaster for your credit rating. That means a CCJ could be sent to an old address, without your knowledge, giving a future lender a reason to turn down your mortgage application.

So if you want to leave your mortgage company with a good first impression here are some tips:

  • Try not to be a couch surfer. Get yourself some roots and try to stay still
  • Settle all outstanding debts and keep the receipts
  • Inform all your utilities, financial institutions and creditors when you are leaving a property and where you are moving to
  • Get yourself on the Electoral Register. You don’t need to actually elect any buffoons but the bank wants to know that you could if you wanted to
  • Install a post redirection service from the previous address to the new one
  • If you meet the person taking over the property that you are leaving, give them an email or phone number and ask them to contact you as soon as someone from Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away comes knocking at the door
  • Once a year, do a credit search on yourself

A bed debt can be registered for as little as 1p so it would be a shame to miss out on your dream home as a result. It is always worth remembering that while you may have dodged the bailiff, you won’t necessarily have dodged the bullet.


By Martin Stewart of London Money mortgage brokers.

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