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Serco and SMI loans

PurpleMommaPurpleMomma Member Posts: 5 Listener
I am wondering about how you can take up a SMI loan for your 2nd mortgage account  that has not been filed with SMI benefit when you refuse an offter for your current mortgage that is much lighter and will be paid off within a year?

Is it true that Secro has no experience in administrating loans and gives poor information?

I have recently communicated with the DWP's complaints resolution team who  gave me a different statement about the role of Secro group claining they are very informative. I am so confused but taking great precautions.

Any suggestions for the matter?
Thank you.


  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Disability Gamechanger
    Just saying 'hello' @PurpleMomma and welcome to the community. I'm not qualified to advise on SMI but I know there have been a number of posts on the subject recently and that there are people here who will be able to advise you.

    Scope does have a 'page' on SMI, here, https://www.scope.org.uk/smi which you might like to have a look at but, otherwise, please bear with us until our advisors can contact you.

    In the meanwhile, of course, if there is anything else you want to talk about, please don't hesitate to be in touch.

    Warmest best wishes to you,

  • PurpleMommaPurpleMomma Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hello JennysDad,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Yes, the other day I did look at the SMI page and learned more about repayment options.  However it does not seem to have the answer to my question.   Because I have been experiecning access difficulties with Secro since January 2018 when they informed me by letter about SMI chantes and by phone through BSL interpretation  I asked them if I was eligible to SMI loan for my 2nd mortgage account and they said they would like to talk directly with me about options but they refused to give a third party any information, I had to approach Citizens Advice Bureau in bid to resolve the problem.  Yet Secro still refused and CAB decied to send my signed consent to the DWP who then confirmed it and arranged  with Secro to contact the CAB.  But unfortunately they were not very helpful with my query.  They appeared so ignorant we decided to seek the local MP's assistance that put the DWP resolution team in touch with us respectiely.  The resoltion team were trying to sort out my accessibility need and they said it would not be possible for Secro to meet me face to face. They sugged a telephone appointment is agreed between Secro, the CAB, the BSL interpreter and myself. I provided them with the dates and times.  So I will be in the CAB's office next week.  The resolution team claims that Secro script is very informative and has some concerns raised about 2nd mortgage which has been missed out of SMI benefit for so many years I aim to swop it with my current mortgage  for SMI loan in bid to speed up clearing the debt.
    I am worried about other people's claims that Secro lacks experience in administrating loans and provides poor information. I try not to be stressed with the 'complex'  situation by joining here.

    I look forward to hearing other people out there with the subject.

    Best wishes,
  • JennysDadJennysDad Member Posts: 2,308 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @PurpleMomma.
    Sorry I couldn't be more help directly, but, if you'll bear with us' I'm going to try to tag somebody else into this conversation who I think knows more about it. @Geoark Hopefully he will get back to you soon, or point somebody else in your direction.
    Warmest best wishes to you,
  • PurpleMommaPurpleMomma Member Posts: 5 Listener
    No worries, today I received a message from Secro that they have made a telephone appointment and I will find out eligibility after my account  has been astray of SMI benefit for 16 years.  For the past week I have been working hard with the  DWP resolution team to help break down the barrier for clarfication of a role and ease of my concerns about their ignorance. Now it looks like things are beginning to look up to reality of the area that may have een missing of the old and new reforms.  I will probably update you the outcome of a telephone meeting btween between three sides of us in local welfare rights office next week  I am glad for  this to be done before SMI changes take effect.
    Lets wish me good luck!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,652 Disability Gamechanger
    SMI decisions require independent financial advice. SERCO are not qualified to give that advice and would be breaking the law if they did so. Their sole role is to talk people through a short bullet point list of options. For anything else you need to pay for a qualified independent adviser. Sadly, most Citizens Advice are also not qualified to do so so it still comes back to paying for an IFA. 

    This link gives you an idea of the chaos.

  • PurpleMommaPurpleMomma Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I think your post is quite helpful.  But I was also wondering if it should be a better idea that you approach online mortgage adviser if you were some kind of housebound and claiming ESA.  In the meantime there is just a year left for your current mortgage repayment so early after the DWP have paid SMI for it in past 16 years. then you woud not be othered with a new SMI.  But you struggling behind with your 3nd mortgage when unaware of the chance to claim eligibility for the same benefit.  Secro has not been helpful  with the question and I realise I should go to a more qualified  adviser than CAB or Welfare Rights service and  now time seems to be running out when I have pointed with the DWP's resolution team  that I already know all about  repayment options  Secro previousy refused to  discose with  an officially authortised third party - lading to widespread complaints through the service providers involved.  It was a question to the leaalisation for hearing impaired peope's equality and diversity that have even been printed  in a letter the DWP sent out to all SMI claimants.   However it is astounding to hear that many of those  have been aware of changes  sixe weeks ahead - like myself.and only 10% of the claimants agre to a new SMI as well as Secro has  not been very assiable and helpful.  Yet the DWP resolution team told me of the difficulties they have experienced in contacting a claimant  and the reason they were prevented from seeing his/her account.  No wonder throwing the DWP into chaos and I think they need to review the issues. And they should halt the deadline of  SMI beneft. 

    Well Serco has now ackowedged some concerns  I rasied in personally emailing to the DWP and I shall know the where to go in the next stop after I compete the 4-way  telephone appointment on Thursday. 

    I wanted to let you know that that I will look more properly into your post later  becauise my home is currently in a breakdown  amid the postpone of Spring and I have got to hand on till Monday afternoon.  I cajn't sleep so well and my hands  go numb but I am doing workouts to keep warm and follow online.
  • BarbiesnemesisBarbiesnemesis Member Posts: 86 Pioneering
    edited March 2018
    @PurpleMomma I haven't found Serco to be very knowledgeable either. The man I spoke to was lovely but was clearly reading from a script that he knew very little about. I think its another example of the government employing a private company to make it look like they are advising people. mikehughescq is right, only an independent financial adviser will be able to properly advise you. I was talking to my PA about this and my mortgage in general and she said there are advisers who offer free first appointments. As to the accessibility issues for the Deaf - don't get me started!! 
  • PurpleMommaPurpleMomma Member Posts: 5 Listener
    I think everywhere it looks like the SMI lines already becoming quieter as the set time of  changes approches.  However I am not impressed with the complete SMI package for my personal circumstances  I am no longer pursuing the role as I can see  other ways I intend to try later this year I have now looked at the rising interest rate as such a hard blow.  Will interest cotinue to rise in post-Brexit?

    Am I correct that a SMI loan support takes up to 2 years?
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