Mortgage holiday scheme extended for homeowners affected by Coronavirus
Homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage during Covid-19 will be offered further breaks from payments.
The availability of a three month mortgage holiday was first announced in March.
Over 1.8 million mortgage payment holidays were taken up, and the first of these will be coming to an end in June.
Those who took up the mortgage payment holiday scheme will be contacted by their lender to discuss a way forward.
“Where consumers can afford to re-start mortgage payments, it is in their best interest to do so.
However, if people are still struggling and need help, a full extension of the mortgage holiday for a further three months will be available as one of the options open to them.” Says The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The finance watchdog has published new draft guidance today for lenders which will set out the expectations for firms and the options available to their customers.
This includes extending the application period for a mortgage holiday until 31 October so customers that have not yet had a payment holiday and are experiencing financial difficulty will be able to request one.
The current ban on repossessions of homes will be continued to the same date.
Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive at the FCA, said: “Our expectations are clear – anyone who continues to need help should get help from their lender.
We expect firms to work with customers on the best options available for them, paying particular attention to the needs of their vulnerable customers, and to provide information on where to access help and advice.
Where consumers can afford to re-start mortgage payments, it is in their best interests to do so.
But where they can’t, a range of further support will be available. People who are struggling and have not had a mortgage payment holiday, will also continue to be able to apply until 31 October.
When the guidance comes into force, following a short consultation, lenders will be expected to contact their customers whose mortgage holiday is coming to an end.
Some may be able to resume their full monthly payments, others may be able to pay a proportion of their monthly payment, or temporarily switch to an interest only mortgage, and others will opt to extend their mortgage payment holiday.
Borrowers that resume with their mortgage payments will be given options on how best to do so, such as the opportunity to extend the term of their mortgage in order to leave their monthly payments at around the same level as they were prior to their mortgage holiday.”
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