COVID-19 repossession ban extended by three months | News

COVID-19 repossession ban extended by three months

Government has announced that the "current ban on repossessions of homes" has been extended by three months.

They have also set out that those struggling to pay their mortgage will be able to have an extra three months mortgage holiday. 

Over 1.8 million mortgage payment holidays were taken up when the scheme was first announced in March. People will now be contacted by their lender to discuss the best way forward, including the option for a three month extension. 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published new draft guidance today for lenders which will set out the expectations for firms and the options available to their customers.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 Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen said: "We’re doing everything we can to help people with their finances at this difficult time, and that includes making sure people get the support they need with their mortgages. That’s why we’re working with the banks and lenders to extend payment holidays if people need them.

"Everyone’s circumstances will be different, so when homeowners can pay some or all of their mortgage, they should work with their lender on a plan; but if they are still struggling, I want them to know that help is there."

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.