Lee Rotbart

Notes to a lender

In Getting the mortgage on July 26, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Dear Mr/Ms Mortgage Lender,

I hope you’re well and are having a good start to the week.

I realise that you don’t know me and letters of this type are rare, however, after 2 weeks of speaking to you through a third party I thought I’d write to you direct and explain a few things that you may not be aware of.

  1. My boyfriend and I are conscientious, practical people. We do not take risks lightly, have never got into any unmanageable debt, have never committed a crime, and have not behaved irresponsibly in years.
  2. We’ve worked steadily for over 13 years. We have never been fired from a job or received a bad reference (I don’t think I was very good at washing hair when I worked in a local salon in 1990, but I believe, even then, they found me pleasant and honest).
  3. We both have Masters degrees. Granted, I can’t remember what Danny’s was in and even he struggles to remember the title of his thesis, nonetheless we have the certificates to prove it.
  4. I believe we have met your requirements in order to lend us the amount of money we requested.
  5. St Ives is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK.
  6. Porthminster View guesthouse has the most stunning views of St Ives Harbour and Porthminser Beach; people are queuing up to stay there yet we only need a 38% occupancy rate to break even.

I realise that to you we are Mortage Application No. 770-992-1354A, yet we are people behind that number: We are genuine, pleasant-to-be-around, enthusiastic people who are truly passionate about this opportunity.

We’d love to cook you a breakfast and tell you about it. We’d tell you how when you’re walking along the beach next to the ocean you feel liberated, completely free from the shackles of modern day living; we’d tell you how, when the sun sets over the water, you feel closer to the creator of the universe (whomever you believe that to be); we’d take you through St Ives village where, when you’re part of the community, everyone knows who you are and says hello.

We’d love to tell you about our ideas, from providing walkers’ teas and packed lunches, through to giving guests a ride to the Minack Theatre. We’ll tell you what we’re planning to do for breakfast and how we want to decorate the rooms. We’ll show you where my new niece will play on the beach and where our family will stay. We’ll point out where Danny is going to grow his tomato plants, and where we’ll put the hanging baskets. We’ll talk you through the website design and our marketing plan, and show you our revenue projections for the next 5 years.

Maybe, after all that, you’ll wonder why you turned down our mortgage application. Why you felt we were such a huge risk to your giant empire; an empire where your middle managers earn more in bonuses than we’re asking to borrow, and where people work more hours than there are in the week to earn invisible money for invisible investors, in order to fund invisible credit. Or maybe you won’t, maybe we’ll just be Mortage Application No. 770-992-1354A, dealt with, forgotten, and consigned to the reject pile.

I’m aware that this letter is relatively unusual and maybe you’ll laugh, maybe this will be an office joke for a while. At the end of the day, however, we’re just two people hoping for a break, a chance, an opportunity to live a little life, in a little seaside town, for just a little while.

Thank you for your time.


Lee Rotbart

  1. Best of luck to you both, you sound like lovely people and I hope your persistence pays off.

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