Vow Brokers feature in the MPA Top 100

The Vow team would like to congratulate...

Jason Guo

Centum Mortgage Group

Graeme Holm

Infinity Group Finance

Dr Kiran Thapa

Capkon Investments

Aden Williams

Alert Finance Pty Ltd

- What a great recognition of their hard work. We're proud to have in them in the Vow Family.

Aden commented, 'We are proud to be recognised by the MPA in the top 100 Brokers which simply comes down to the Team here at Alert Finance - the hard work that our support staff put in day in day out is a reflection of our results'

Graeme said, "It is an honour and an absolute privilege to record such an amazing result for the year. The recognition should be directed to the amazing Financial Family @ Infinity (our clients and staff truly are family to Rebecca and me). Such an amazing result would not have been possible without them.

"Infinity looks forward to moving up the list and being recognised as one of Australia's leading mortgage brokers, debt management & budgeting firms."

(Left to Right: Aden, Graeme and Rebecca, Kiran, Jason).

Meet Shehana: your settlements champion

Vow Home Loans doesn't just offer you great products and rates. A big part of our value proposition is the support behind the scenes. As her title suggests, our Settlements Champion, Shehana Prakash, plays a vital role in getting your deals settled, as fast as possible. Here we ask her about her role, and also include some amazing feedback from brokers who have been working with Shehana recently.

Q. What do I enjoy about my role?

A. The ability to "think outside the box" and make an executive decision. I also put myself in the broker/borrower shoes to try find a solution to assist them and the solicitors. The goal is always to enable a faster and smoother settlement process for all.

Q. What are the obstacles/challenges you help brokers overcome in the loan process?

A. For refinance settlements - ensuring discharge forms are completed correctly in full and executed by all and submitted immediately - this avoids delays in settlement of our borrowers' loans. This is sent to the brokers prior to loan documents being issued and I am very happy to say a lot of the brokers are being proactive by not only providing me with signed discharge forms but also initiating the discharge.

For purchase settlements - following up borrowers' solicitors to make sure they are providing all lender requirements immediately to our panel solicitors, for a quicker settlement.

Urgent settlements - each funder has their own process. I seek escalations with senior external stakeholders to ensure documents can be sent to the borrowers either via email or collection by borrowers. Then I ensure all documents and lender requirements are returned as soon as possible.

Q. What is your professional background and how has it helped in this role?

A. My professional background consists of personal loan processing from sales to settlements, Legal Secretary/Conveyancing, Real Estate, Paralegal Mortgages Processing, and Compliance and Risk, AML/KYC/ Fraud Analyst in transactional monitoring. This means I have a perspective from all sides of the transaction.

Every day is a learning curve and I have attained my knowledge on the job by wearing different "hats", and also pre-empting and finding solutions for our customers. Understanding the process from the beginning (i.e. preparing a contract for sale) through to settlement, means I can make it run as smoothly possible for our customers.

But don't just take our word for it! - Here is some feedback from the network.

"Shehana has been very helpful every time I ring and request documents in relation to post settlement clients. (Vow Home Loans) have vastly improved their credit assessment procedures in the last three months and also the post settlement Loan Support Team as usual provides exceptional service no matter how busy they are."

"The advantage ... is that we have full control of the client from application to settlement and beyond. By using other institutions we have no idea if and when clients discharge or request an amendment to their loans (which takes up to two weeks to action) until we receive our commission statement at month end and have a number of Clawbacks debited."

"Shehana has been valuable as part of the revamped YBR Group Lending team. She has been proactive in making sure your loan documents are issued and chased up in time prior to settlement and it is really important to keep constant communications with the team every step of the way."

"I think it is a terrific idea having a settlements champion, as this can be a difficult part of the process for us as brokers to navigate. Often once the loan is approved in some instances we aren't informed of what is going on, which means we can't keep the customer updated as well. Keeping us in the loop like this is great with a dedicated contact person is great. I have always found the service from the team as a whole to be exceptional."

"Shehana did a great job for our business, she has contacted me on a regular basis regards with the progress with settlement booking. I think it is a great role."

"I would just like to say thank you for the newly created role of Settlements Champion within the Group Lending Team - it is a breath of fresh air knowing that settlement is looked after especially by the efficient & knowledgeable Shehana Prakash."

"100% best work having Shehana there to help. Makes our life so much easier. Please give her our thanks."

Property investor loans record biggest fall in two years

By Paul Bennion, Managing Director of DEPPRO

2018 is shaping up to be a tough year for property investors throughout Australia with the latest ABS figures showing a sharp decline in the value of property loans investors.

More stringent government regulations resulted in a 6% drop in investor loans during September 2017 which is the largest decline in the past two years.

This government enforced credit squeeze on property investors, is making it much harder for them to purchase investment properties.

Earlier this year, APRA forced the banks to reduce risky loans to property investors as lending to this sector of the property market grew to more than 50% of all home lending.

In contrast, loans to first home buyers have been rebounding as government authorities attempt to encourage more first home lending at the expense of investor loans.

This policy has resulted in a surge in first home lending throughout Australia and in particular Victoria and New South Wales. In Victoria, the number of loans surged by 57% to first home buyers since June and by 32% in New South Wales.

The credit on property investors comes at a time when rental returns in some parts of Australia are starting to weaken due to an oversupply of new homes. This is particularly the case in inner city Brisbane and Melbourne where there has been a huge boom in new apartment construction over the past two years and landlords are now struggling to find a tenant.

It is critical that property investors boot their income by ensuring that they claim all their legitimate tax benefits relating to property investment such as depreciation allowances.

It is estimated that only one in five residential investors make use of the tax depreciation entitlements which are available to all investors on all investment properties.

Investors fail to understand that the tax benefits from depreciation can be just as important as rental income and that tax benefits obtained through depreciation can be equivalent to 60% of the total purchase price of the property. Investors fail to understand that the tax benefits from depreciation can be just as important as rental income.

Property investors who have a portfolio of investment properties should also realise that they can claim tax depreciation benefits retrospectively if they have not done so in the past. DEPPRO has been able to assist property investors who have several investment properties achieve tax benefits of over $100,000 by claiming depreciation allowances for previous financial years.

Click the link below and complete the details to ensure your client receives a higher return on their cashflow.


Changes to Empower Range Policies

Please note there have been a few policy changes that impact on the Empower range of loans.

1. Changes to information regarding other debts/commitments

In line with our commitment to responsible lending, we're capturing some additional information in the application, including repayment type, remaining term and interest rate for existing debt.

2. HEM value updates

There have been updates to the HEM value, which are now reflected in the serviceability calculator.

3. Positive changes for people working in essential services

We can now include 100% of overtime as allowable income for those working in essential services.

4. Acceptable borrowers

The policy has been updated to clarify that for joint borrower structures, where only one party is the mortgagor, that party needs to receive a direct benefit from the loan.

5. Further clarification on age of documentation

We've provided further clarity on the age of documentation required to support a home loan application. For example:

refinance statements should be no more than six weeks old as at date of submission

when providing parental leave evidence, the letter confirming the return to work date should be no more than 60 days old as at date of submission.

These changes are effective from 14 November 2017. For more information please refer to the Lending Product Guide. Any applications submitted before this date and formally approved prior to 29 November 2017 will be assessed in accordance with the existing policy.

Naturally, if you have any questions or need to clarify anything, please don't hesitate to contact your Macquarie BDM. Updated policy documents will be uploaded to our systems over the next few days.