Today's drama has involved the Co-operative Bank, who while less evil than the Big Four, are apparently no more competent. We are remortgaging our house for various reasons, chiefly that our current interest rate is extortionate and we have no particular tie to the building society it's with. For various other reasons, chiefly that we are lazy and prefer to deal with a limited number of companies, we decided to move the mortgage to the Co-op where our current account is. This is proving to be rather difficult.
The stress of a couple of weeks ago was the fact the Co-op are a "responsible lender", and therefore wouldn't lend me any money. I'm self-employed, and the Inland Revenue do not require me to create certified accounts at the end of the tax year. I don't earn enough to want to give an accountant a couple of hundred pounds to draw up accounts if the Government doesn't legally compel me to do so. Therefore, I can apparently only get a mortgage based on my income from "less responsible" lenders. Which really sucks, because why on earth would I lie on my Tax Return that I earned more income than I really did, in order to pay more tax than I would otherwise owe?! Anyway, this turned out to be a false alarm because we could get the mortgage based on Richard's income alone - but not before I completely lost it and swore at the financial advisor (*blush*). I'll just have to make sure that our relationship never becomes so seriously acrimonious that we will no longer want to co-habitate, 'cos it would cost me a small fortune to have to do that.
Aaaanyway, so over a period of a week, we received a huge chunk of stressful paperwork from the Co-op's solicitors. (I simply don't remember having to deal with any of this when we bought the house in the first place, but I guess we did). I filled in the mega-huge form of d0000m. And we got Tim & Peter to witness us signing the Mortgage Deed, and I put the whole load in the post by Special Delivery on Tuesday, at the cost of £4.80 iirc.
Then on Wednesday, we received exactly the same paperwork, but from a different firm of solicitors that we'd never heard of. Oh, except they want certified copies of our passports as well. So that's another £10, and us having to take ourselves somewhere to get that done.
To cut a long story short, the bank have, for reasons that are somewhat beyond all of us, engaged two different firms of solicitors to do the same work. And, although the first firm have received everything they need from us and have got quite far through the process, we're actually supposed to be dealing with the second company, who should have written to us on 13th April but in fact only got round to it yesterday in a letter dated 27th April - in which Richard's middle name is spelled wrongly, and I'm down as "Mrs" my last name. I'm not exactly happy about this because the first company are clearly a lot more competent, but these are the Co-op's solicitors, not ours. Gah!
And then we got up to the bank today to sign the Mortgage Offer, and the rate of interest on the offer wasn't the one that we'd agreed to. So there was much to-ing and fro-ing between our financial advisor and CIS Head Office, and some other part of the bank as well. So my 2 hour round trip into central London for 5 minutes of signing paperwork became an hour & a half of sitting around in the bank as well as the travel, making me ridiculously late for the SIX students I had this afternoon & evening.
I have, however, been ridiculously amused every time I've caught sight of the Co-Op's head office address on something as "1 Balloon Street". It makes me think of the best political blog in the world and Mr Balloon's Conservatory Party.