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turned down for a mortgage after being honest about spent convictions


turned down for a mortgage after being honest about spent convictions

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Christopher Stacey
Christopher Stacey
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emma,

Court costs are not the same as fines.

As Andy says, you do not need to disclose spent convictions for mortgages. It's not surprising to hear that a mortgage provider, when presented with criminal convictions, looks at them negatively. They won't have a clue what the difference between spent and unspent means. And even if they do, now they know you have a conviction, it will change the way they deal with you.

The best piece of advice I can give you is to take advantage of the protections of the ROA by not disclosing your criminal record when seeking a mortage, based on the fact that it is spent.



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Christopher Stacey
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Oliver said...
This is a criminal offence in itself


Oliver - the protections regarding spent convictions are not the same as for other 'equality' legislation unfortunately. I'd be interested to know how you come to say that it is a 'criminal offence'?



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Chris Bath
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If you have details of all your convictions, you can check exactly when they became spent using our Disclosure Calculator at www.disclosurecalculator.org.uk/


If there are 8 million people on the Government's Offender Index, does the law-abiding majority really exist?



If there are 8 million people on the Governments Offender Index, does the law-abiding majority really exist?
Chris Bath
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Info on mortgages, convictions and the ROA here www.unlock.org.uk/xoffenders.aspx?sid=142


If there are 8 million people on the Government's Offender Index, does the law-abiding majority really exist?



If there are 8 million people on the Governments Offender Index, does the law-abiding majority really exist?
AJH
AJH
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Hi Emma - welcome to the Forum and to a different sort of campaign!

What a saga! Hope you are fit and well now by the way.

You mention in your original post that you took a CRB check with you to the mortgage advisor. This might be where you came unstuck with your previous convictions. If the certificate was a 'standard' or 'enhanced' CRB check, this will reveal all convictions regardless of whether or not they are spent. These are typically used for employment with children or vulnerable people or jobs in areas of healthcare, national security etc. A 'basic' CRB check on the other hand (available only through Disclosure Scotland, I think?) would show only unspent convictions or cautions.

In relation to your mortgage you would only need to declare unspent convictions, but if you had a CRB check at a 'higher level' then it might have given the impression that your spent convictions were still unspent!
Anonymous
Anonymous



Hello, this is the first time I have used the forum, here's my story.
I attempted to apply for a mortgage in feb 2011. I had a sufficient deposit, but I didnt really know much about the ROA act so, I thought it best to take my crb check with me to the mortgage advisor.
I am a political campaigner (anti war, climate change that type of thing) and consequently I have quite a few minor offences stretching back over the past few years. I thought that these would remain unspent for 5 years (i have never been in prison)
I showed the crb check to the mortgage advisor and was told that it would be impossible for me to get a mortgage because of my convictions. I got a second opinion and was told the same thing by a different broker.
Because I really needed a house for my mum and myself, I asked my sister to apply for the mortgage, which she did. However, I am not comfortable with this situation and neither is my sister- she sufferes from bouts of depression and is worried about officially owning the house.
In light of this, I attempted to find another mortgage in july 2011 with the britannia, as I have been a member of the co-op bank for several years and this entitled me to a decent interest rate on a mortgage from them.
At first I was told that the criminal convictions did not count and it was all hunky dory. It gets alittle complicated here:- I am self employed, but I had cancer 2 years ago which meant I was on employment support allowance for almost 1 year. This meant my income for 2008/2009 was very low. This obviously would have lowered the amount I could borrow. However i was told that the britannia were happy to look at only the last 2 years (2009/10 2010/11) because of my special circumstances (ie being ill).
when the solicitor started the process of doing all the checks etc, i was asked why i wanted to buy a house off my sister that she purchased just a few months ago. i explained that at that time, i had been told by other mortgage advisors that i would not get a mortgage because of my criminal record.
That seemed to send the solicitor into a bit of a spin, and she asked for full details of my criminal record which i gave her- i had nothing to hide, as the mortgage company knew about my record already. Unfortunately the solicitor then advised the mortgage company that because of my criminal record i should not have been treated as having special circumstances, and therefore my income should have been assesed over 4 years not 2, which, beause of my time on benefits and my low earnings prior to getting cancer (i only worked part time then) meant that i should not have been offered the mortgage in the fist place.
here is the ironic bit
i have read up a little on the Rehabilitation of offenders act and i think that all my convictions were actually spent even beforre i tried to apply for the first mortgage. My last couple of offences were in 2009 (i stopped when i got ill) and i got conditional discharges which ran out at the start of feb 2011. i had to pay costs of around £300 to the court, but although fines stay on your record for 5 years, i cant find anywhere that says costs stay on your record. if that is correct, my record was already spent when i first applied for the mortgage.
i am finally getting round to my questions:

firstly , am i right in thinking my convictions are spent?
secondly, as all the details of my convictions are now out there in the mortgage broker ether, if i try to apply for a mortgage and dont declare my convictions will they be common knowledge anyway, and will this mean i will be likely to be turned down again?

i realise this is a long post, but if i am correct in thinking my convictions are spent i am very annoyed that the solicitors and mortgage advisors who i had imagined would know about these matters did not realise that they should not have taken my convictions into consideration when i was looking for the mortgage.
Anonymous
Anonymous



thankyou for replying,
It seems that all my convictions were spent even before i applied for the mortgage. it has made me realise the important difference between getting fined and getting court costs. i used to think the 2 were pretty much the same, but it looks like costs dont have the same 5 year penalty as fines do.
tigerlily
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And so would I - as I have been advised by a solicitor that it is the only form of discrimination that anyone can practise with impunity without any comeback on them.
Oliver
Oliver
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Not only do you not have to disclose spent convictions for this purpose, but it's illegal for anyone to discriminate against you based on unspent convictions. This is a criminal offence in itself and is completely unacceptable, makes me angry just thinking about it. I would take legal advice and see if you can bring them to book.

You were very honest in giving them a CRB check, although this was not necessary. It is irrelevant that the mortgage brokers now know of your spent convictions, the fact is it is 100% illegal for them to refuse a mortgage on the basis of a spent conviction, just like it is for racist, sexist, ageist religious reasons etc.
GO


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