Are you a crook? Of course not.

But you could still end up in a sticky situation thanks to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation.

A bit of background. Since 2015 New Zealanders have been obliged to follow global rules designed to stop criminals and terrorists sending money through the financial system. The gist of it is that you must be able to prove your identity and reside at the address you say you live at.

If you can’t do this, the banks will not accept or release money on your behalf. When you’re arranging a mortgage, this matters.

If you’re like me, and live in a house owned by a family trust, your name may not be on the bills sent to that address. The same applies if your bills are mailed to a PO Box.

The solution is to make sure you always have at least one regular invoice – be it a telco, utility or rates bill – in your own name and mailed to your home address. Then make sure you have some recent bills on hand when you apply for a mortgage. This helps the bank comply with AML requirements. (You will also need another form of ID such as a current passport or driver’s licence.)

My second tip when arranging a mortgage is simple: don’t have the settlement date at a time when you’ll be out of the country. I am continually amazed at the number of clients who breezily tell me they’ll be in Fiji when the settlement occurs. You need to be on hand to manage the paperwork and deal with any last minute snarl-ups. The simple solution is to shift the settlement date so it takes place before or after your holiday.

One last tip. You can register and get your ID validated at the NZ government website RealMe. Do it now, and you won’t have to run around at the last minute when the bank asks to see your ID.

Once again, as Nike says: Just Do It!

Are you looking to restructure your mortgage or apply for a new one? Make sure you talk to us first. Make an appointment.