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April 2009

No more whinging, please!


WHAT planet does your columnist Adam Walker live on?

While even I will accept that a repossession is without doubt most unpleasant, the mortgagee entered into a financial commitment/obligation, secured against their home, so how can it be unjust for the lender not to use best endeavours to secure their financial position?

Most lenders — vis-à-vis banks — are owned by shareholders, i.e. another man in the street who has invested their money to get a return.

If the intermediary, i.e. the bank/lender anticipates a problem from the borrower, they have a fiduciary responsibility to their investors to take all action as appropriate.

To state, somewhat emotively, that people can be thrown out of their homes because they owe tiny amounts of money, then to refer to being repossessed because of arrears of just a few thousand pounds is, to me, not right. That is not a tiny amount of money — and I speak as a self-made multi-millionaire!

The article (EAN, March) goes on to state that repossessed properties nearly always sell for less than the true value.

In my experience in property for 50 years, if repossessed properties are sold at auction, the achieved price is reflective of the market and realises a true value.

I have never read so many daft suggestions than those coming from a management consultant.

Quite obviously, Adam was born post-WWII and has been brought up in the Nanny State and would appear to endorse that you need an Ombudsman or some other quango to protect people from their own stupidity. Has he heard of caveat emptor?

Seventy five thousand properties will not be dumped on the market all at once, if indeed repossessions reach that figure.

It will be progressive, and in all probability, extra properties coming onto the market will help contain the prices which have reached absolutely absurd levels and will consequently assist potential new buyers purchasing at a realistic price.

For the record, I own several businesses, have been actively involved in property for nigh on 50 years as a developer/owner of flats/shops/commercial premises and new build 10-30 units a year.

So I speak from reasonable first-hand knowledge and not as a pundit who apparently has little, if any, hands-on experience of buying land, turning the first sod, and eventually selling the houses/flats built thereon to the open market.

Please, no more Ombudsman, no more quangos, no more hand wringing, whinging individuals — just stand up and be counted without blaming others for problems self-precipitated.

Managing Director,
Dudrich [Holdings] Limited, London N14.