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Mortgage Arrears Help
Mortgage Arrears normally start with wider financial issues, such as a loss of income, separation or unsecured debt issues that take over.
It seems all too easy to miss a mortgage payment for the first time and not really feel like the lender is being very aggressive just a very polite letter comes through the letter box saying something along the lines of …”you seemed to have missed a payment…we are sure that this is an oversight” etc.
At the same time you may have other unsecured lenders calling you and being very aggressive threatening legal action due to a missed credit card payment etc. The reason why they behave in this way is that they have more to lose, they know that legally you can pay them £1 a month and they can’t touch you…The mortgage lender also knows that they their debt is safe, because if you don’t pay your mortgage or secured loan they will ultimately take your home. This is why they should be more understanding.
Sadly we know only too well that this isn’t the case, despite recent press releases by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) who have confirmed that the repossession figures for 2012, 33,900 were the lowest since 2007. The lenders would let you believe that this is down to lender forbearance and and a willingness to help. Indeed we see very aggressive lender activity every day despite the rhetoric from CML Director General who Paul Smee who comments:
“The fall in arrears and possessions is obviously very welcome. Households fall into difficulty for a variety of reasons, most of which cannot be anticipated. Wherever possible, lenders will work with borrowers to manage periods of temporary financial difficulty and enable them to keep their home. Anyone worried about their situation should talk to their lender, who will try to help them.”
In a recent interview Richard Banks who is the is Chief executive of UK Asset Resolution (UKAR)
“UKAR mortgages rates are not competitive and those who can easily move their home loans are encouraged to do so.”
This makes it clear that new role of UKAR is to wind down the loan books of NRAM and B&B and to get back as much money as possible for the Government.
UKAR repossessed about 8,000 homes in 2012, a fact that often prompts outrage, but Banks is clear that UKAR cannot be more generous to its customers than any other lender.
“No, we can’t” he says emphatically. “I know that is probably not the right thing to say, but our primary objective is to protect value for the taxpayer while treating customers fairly.”
“If a customer is in arrears, we have to understand their circumstances. If the customer is having long-term problems and there is little or no prospect of them recovering, then by giving extra leniency you are not actually making their life any better, because you are just going to increase their indebtedness.”
“From the taxpayers’ point of view we want to avoid repossessions – each one costs us about £45,000. But if a customer’s debt is just going to increase by not doing it then the quicker we do it, the better for everyone.”
Of course we would encourage all those who have recently fallen into arrears or have low arrears – Under £2,000 to speak with their lender but our experience in negotiating with lenders on Mortgage Accounts where there are historic arrears is that lenders have never been more unhelpful – Especially the previously styled “subprime lenders”.
The subprime lenders in particular clearly have their own agenda and I firmly believe that some quite deliberately make it difficult for their customers to communicate with them. They have no interest in customer services and they are in effect in “run-down” they do not want to keep customers -they want to close the book down.
There is no incentive whatsoever for them to help or support you through your difficult time whatsoever, in fact many are no longer regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and cannot offer new products or re-structure your loan. They are simply operated as large scale debt collection agencies.
We would also warn against accepting an appointment from a “Debt Counsellor” sent by the mortgage lender – in most cases this is an expensive waste of time, it is simply a box ticking exercise that makes the lender look like they are trying to help but invariably the so called “report” will go back to the lender and any recommendations made by the counsellor will be rejected. In some case we have seen the information that has been collected on these visits used against the home owner in court.
Essentially Lender & Court Services have spent the last 3 years helping people with Mortgage Arrears and whilst we have seen some lender forbearance and flexibility there have been some very bad examples of lender behavior and this continues to occur. We would encourage people to get advice from ourselves or one of the other consumer support organisations such as the Citizens Advice Burea or Shelter. Lender & Court Services’s service is different from these volunteer based organisations as we offer a professional service as a company of certified paralegals, we have assembled an expert team nationwide of Solicitors, Barristers, Legal Executives and Paralegals with either BVC, LPC Qualification We do not use trainees or in-experienced personnel, and select carefully to maintain our name and our reputation. We will ensure that you are properly represented and at all stages of your case and will deliver our service when you need it, there is no waiting list or appointments system.
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