Our updated Mortgage Support Promise outlines the ways we’re helping our mortgage customers who have been financially affected by COVID-19.
It provides clarity and reassurance to those who need it most at this time, and incorporates the latest guidance from our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This outlines how the financial services sector can help those who are experiencing ongoing financial concerns as a result of Coronavirus.
A break from making payments
We’re offering Mortgage Payment Breaks and Extended Payment Breaks, otherwise known as Payment Deferrals, with a maximum combined duration of six months.
Applications for Payment Breaks and Extended Payment Breaks will now remain open until 31 March 2021.
A Payment Break or Extended Payment Break will not be the appropriate choice for everyone. Please read the information provided and our Mortgage Account Review page to help you make the right decision.
Ongoing support at the end of your initial Payment Break
Towards the end of your initial Payment Break we will be back in touch to discuss your next steps.
If your circumstances have improved we have a number of options to help you get your mortgage back on track.
If your Payment Break ends on or before the 31 March 2021, and the impact of Coronavirus means you are still unable to afford your mortgage payments, these options will include the opportunity to apply for an Extended Payment Break with full or partially deferred payments for up to a further three months.
We will provide you with information to understand these options and we encourage you to seek independent advice if you are unsure how to proceed.
If none of these options are suitable we will ask you to complete a Mortgage Support Account Review to help us understand your circumstances. We’ll use the information you provide to understand the affordability and sustainability of your mortgage and to offer you a personalised Mortgage Support Plan.
We are committed to supporting our members through our Mortgage Support Process and to providing them with a personalised Mortgage Support Plan designed to help get their mortgage back on track.
Repossession is always a last resort and provided that you continue to fully co-operate with our Mortgage Support Process, we will only take this action if we:
- are unable to reach an agreement with you that will return your mortgage to an affordable and sustainable position; and
- have been unable to agree an alternative Mortgage Exit Strategy such as Voluntary Sale or Voluntary Surrender.
We will not enforce Repossession of any property, unless requested to do so by a customer, until after 22 February 2021.
In addition, as part of our Mortgage Support Promise:
- if you have taken a Payment Break, or a Payment Break and Extended Payment Break, and provided that you fully co-operate with our Mortgage Support Process, we will not begin repossession action for a minimum of three months after the end of your Payment Break or Extended Payment Break.
This three-month suspension of action will not apply if you ask us to repossess your property, or if you fail to fully co-operate with our Mortgage Support Process and any associated actions we ask you to take.
If you would like to discuss Repossession or the Voluntary Sale or Voluntary Surrender of your property please contact us.
Supporting your tenants
We encourage Buy to Let landlords to consider their own role in providing support through these difficult times, such as passing on Payment Breaks and Extended Payment Breaks to their tenants.
Talking is important
We understand that the impact of COVID-19 on you and your family may be complex and wide reaching but we want you to know that we’re here to listen and help.
By fully explaining your circumstances you will help us to decide whether you are eligible for a Payment Break or Extended Payment Break, and if not, to offer an alternative Mortgage Support Plan that is appropriate for you.
It is important to remember that your mortgage is a Priority Debt and that the decisions you make about your mortgage payments are very important for you and your household.
If you are unsure how to proceed, including how to prioritise making your mortgage payments, other outgoing payments and any debts you may have, then before reaching your decision we strongly recommend that you consider obtaining independent advice.
Citizens Advice have produced a helpful guide to understanding and managing Priority and Non Priority Debts which you can find here.