Getting a French mortgage (rather than through a UK bank) for the new French property seemed a sensible option – particularly in view of the fact that while the euro/£1 rate is so bad at the moment, we can keep our eyes on when the rate is more favourable and then perhaps start paying some of it off (when we win the lottery). Having had several discussions with several different mortgage brokers, I had narrowed the choice down to the one who seemed the most patient and understanding of all my questions – so I rang him to confirm that we had found a property, confirmed that we would like to take up ‘Option B’ of the various proposals he had outlined, paid the £200 administration fee and then watched in horror as my inbox filled up with pages and pages of forms to be filled in. I pride myself on my methodical filing system but this was a real challenge and it took an entire weekend (and more) to track down everything they asked for which included: Copies of Passports, Birth Certificates, Wedding Certificate, up-to-date statements of any assets (savings accounts, bonds, stock portfolios etc), current valuation of any properties we own, the last 3 month’s payslips, the last 3 month’s bank statements (to prove that we didn’t have any undisclosed regular debts), a letter from an Employer confirming your status & salary, copies of last tax returns, and, as my husband also has his own business, copies of the last 3 years annual accounts. I was very tempted to send my 10-metre swimming certificate, just in case it might be useful.
The whole thing was a massive task but made me realise why the french banks have not suffered to the same extent as others during the ‘Banking Crisis’ – they do not allow people to get into debt easily.
The feeling of relief was fantastic as I posted/emailed everything and sat back in my by now well-ordered office and waited to see if I had ‘passed the test’. (Sadly not quite as the broker rang back with 3 queries – one was that I needed to photocopy the outside envelope of the payslip (?), another was that a statement said that it was ‘page 1 of 2’ and they needed page 2 (just a list of my loyalty points I believe!) and finally querying a couple of entries on the bank statement). Finally I was assured that all was in place and ready to be sent to France for ‘consideration’. Scary!