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COVID-19 Update #2

23 April 2020

Heartland understands the current pressure on everyone due to the isolation requirements of COVID-19, and is here to support our customers during this time.

We are consistently looking at ways to improve our process to align with isolation requirements, to ensure a safe and smooth process so we can continue to assist with urgently needed funds. Therefore, we are pleased to announce the acceptance of council valuations for loans up to $100k. We also have options in place for electronic documentation, as required.

Council Valuations – For Loans up to $100k

While we understand that valuers are still an essential service, and their offering is still available with physical distancing measures, this is not the preferred and safest option for many customers.

In replacement, during the isolation period, we will be accepting a council valuation. As usual, Heartland’s lending criteria applies – this includes careful consideration of property condition, location, and loan usage.

A full valuation report will be required, but only after settlement, to fulfill our funding obligations once life is back to normal. There will be no charge for this.

This interim measure will ensure customer’s who urgently require funds to meed immediate needs during this period are supported.

If someone, who has selected to use a council valuation for a loan of up to $100k, wishes to access further funds with their full valuation this will be allowed. We will require a further advance application, but will waive the further advance fee (independent legal advice will still apply).

Loan Documentation

Just like with valuers, we understand that meeting with a solicitor face to face may also not be the preferred option for some.

Heartland has implemented the following measures to ensure customer safety is at the forefront:

  • Documents will be sent via email to the customer and solicitor wherever possible, as this provides for both efficiency and safety.
  • If they decide to meet ‘virtually’, rather than in person, we will allow a separate signed confirmation from each advising the legal advice was undertaken. There is preferred wording for these confirmations.
  • If there is difficulty in completing, or signing, other forms and documents we have a number of solutions in place. These are dependent on what piece of documentation is proving difficult, the legal obligations, and the needs of the customer and/or solicitor. This includes cash reserve and redraw request options.

If you are having trouble completing documentation, please contact Heartland – we will treat each issue case by case on its merits, and provide a best-fit solution.

It is important that, during this economically uncertain time, Australian seniors can continue to access the equity in their home they need to live comfortably and with peace of mind. The ability to accept council valuations, and provide solutions for legal documentation, is another way we are supporting our customers.

Information is accurate as at 23.04.2020 and may change from time to time.