How will the Coronavirus COVID-19 affect my Mortgage?2023-09-07T09:21:38+00:00

How Will the Coronavirus COVID-19 Affect My Mortgage?

We have received a number of calls from Homeowners who are understandably worried about being able to maintain their mortgage payments over the months ahead and have asked us to give them our understanding of the situation.

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Update: the FCA has updated their guidance in relation to mortgage repossessions and coronavirus COVID-19, stating that “Firms should not commence or continue repossession proceedings against customers at this time…”.

For more up-to-date information please visit the FCA website.

The Government cannot force your mortgage provider to actually help you, however, when the Government asks for forbearance, most of the banks will toe the line.

The Government has asked banks to provide 3 months’ reprieve on mortgages and for Homeowners not to be charged fees while the outbreak of the coronavirus is managed.

The Government has further reduced interest rates to 0.1% to help lower the cost of mortgages, although this may not affect all mortgages.

If you are out of work, then you are understandably going to find it difficult to maintain your mortgage. The Government has asked the major banks to allow customers a ‘payment holiday’ for 3 months which they are hoping will cover these uncertain times.

The banks that have already agreed to this include:
Halifax, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), NatWest, Ulster Bank, Santander

Whilst this announcement sounds like the Government is doing something about the situation regarding the coronavirus, they cannot typically force your mortgage lender to write off any funds that are due under your mortgage terms and conditions. It would require the passing of emergency laws.

Therefore it is better described as a deferment period whereby the banks and mortgage lenders have agreed that you can miss the payments, however, they will either add the missed interest to the loan, or you will be expected to catch up with your payments by increasing your future payments.

Most of the banks have agreed however NOT to charge additional interest or administration fees against accounts that miss payments during this period.

It is imperative that you contact your bank or mortgage provider and tell them about your position so they can inform you if they are going to agree to help you over the period of the coronavirus crisis.

There is not a particular rule or guideline that they all must follow, and therefore may deal with it diffidently to what you may have heard on the news or from a friend. Your future position will be a lot more secure if the payments were missed by agreement.

Make sure you record the date, time and name of the person you spoke to. You may need them to be able to trace the call at a later stage if a complaint becomes necessary.

If you already have arrears on your account and indeed a suspended possession order from the court, you may not be eligible for an agreed payment holiday from your Lender.

They have the ability to refuse. Whether they will continue to add fees to your account during this period will be up to the individual lender.

Your bank/mortgage provider may threaten to enforce the possession order; however, they are further hindered by the court process

You have to remember that Evictions are carried out by the County Court, not your mortgage provider.

Therefore if the court has the power to withdraw your eviction based on the current coronavirus outbreak. It will be worth telephoning the court and asking the, to clarify the position first.

It is worth telephoning the court in the first instance as it has proven successful already, where a Court confirmed to a client that they did not need to make an application as the eviction would not proceed due to the Bailiff having to self-isolate.

If you cannot get confirmation from the court or your lender then it is wise to make an application, providing the court is still open. This will put you in front of a Judge who is likely to be more lenient in the present climate.

Contacting Your Bank/Mortgage Lender

We have provider a list of mortgage relief contact numbers if you are concerned about your mortgage and would like to speak directly to your lender. Some lenders are now starting to introduce coronavirus helplines.

Accord Mortgages: 0345 1200 866
Barclays: 0800 022 4022
BM Solutions: 0345 850 5000
Clydesdale Bank: 0800 121 4203
Coventry Building Society: 0800 121 8899
Halifax: 0345 850 3705
HSBC: 03457 404 404
Leeds Building Society: 0113 225 7972
Lloyds: 0800 783 3534
Monmouthshire Building Society: 01633 844 370
Nationwide: 0800 464 30 30
Natwest: 0800 092 9585
Platform (Co-op): 01752 236 550
Post Office (BOI): 0800 707 6206
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS): 0345 721 2600
Santander: 0800 01 56 382
Skipton Building Society: 0800 022 4022
TSB: 0345 835 3380
Ulster Bank: 0345 300 6086
Virgin: 0345 602 8301

How to Stop Repossession

Make sure you talk to your lender

1. Don’t take emergency finance

Other companies may have misled you into believing that a bridging loan or short-term finance is your best or even only choice. That’s not true. The temporary relief will be short-lived when you are facing repossession for a much higher sum.

Try not panic and stay calm

2. Don’t accept a quick sale

In desperate situations, you may be tempted to accept a below-market-value “instant cash” offer on your home. Avoid quick sale companies at all costs—they profit from your misfortune. We can provide better options.

 Review household expenditure

3. Get us to help

We can help you navigate through your options. We will force your lender to give you time to make a decision that suits you. Our first step is to assess affordability for you to keep the property long-term. If this is not an option, then we will ensure you speak to regulated finance professionals or have time to sell your property on the open market.

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