Dena Thompson

A guide to a seamless underwriting process

Underwriting still relies heavily on human interaction, despite the process having been streamlined by technology.

This is the opinion of Dena Thompson, head of underwriting at Alternative Bridging Corporation (pictured above), who reminded brokers that they themselves still had the power to accelerate loan underwriting.

“While technology is certainly an advantage for lenders, having a team of experienced underwriters is invaluable in being able to process ‘alternative’ deals,” explained Dena.

“There also needs to be a mutual understanding, respect and trust between the broker providing the information on a deal and the underwriter responsible for assessing that information.

“The end goal is for all parties to ensure loans complete, quickly, efficiently and ‘safely’.”

Dena proposed a number of tips for brokers to help the underwriting process along, urging them to:

•    Provide clear and concise information to the lender from the start; ie the purpose of the loan, any title issues or restriction on the security, details of the parties involved

•    Submit all relevant documentation required; for example, application form, AML documents etc, and volunteer additional supporting documents at an early stage (ie borrower CV, company structure charts, tenancy/lease/planning information, estate agent’s details etc)

•    Ensure the borrower or their solicitor starts the process of obtaining consent or deeds of priority from the first charge lender as soon as heads of terms have been accepted for second charge lending

•    Keep in regular contact with the lender’s business development manager and/or underwriter on the progress of a case from enquiry through to redemption and vice versa

•    Make sure the borrower has chosen an efficient solicitor used to dealing with short-term lending, and ensure the lenders’ own panel of professionals (solicitors, valuers and monitoring surveyors) is of a high standard

•    Make it clear to the lender when a completion deadline is known – often lenders are told completion is ‘asap’, but are rarely told that a borrower is in notice to complete and they have a definitive 10 days to complete or lose their deposit.

Dena’s advice follows a period of expansion for Alternative Bridging’s broker support team, which has seen the lender appoint two new business development managers since February.

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