Mortgage holiday: Citizens Advice respond to extension news – further changes called for

Mortgage holiday: Citizens Advice respond to extension news – further changes called for

Mortgage holidays were among the first support measures provided by Rishi Sunak in response to coronavirus. The holidays will allow mortgage holders to pause their repayments for up to three months if they’re struggling financially.

The charity went on to call on the government to provide additional protections for renters who are vulnerable during this period of time.

Specifically, they called for:

  • Accelerating the process to end section 21 “no fault” evictions
  • Putting in place temporary changes allowing the courts more discretion for tenants in arrears because of coronavirus
  • An implementation of a “pre-action protocol” of steps that landlords must follow before they can bring possession proceedings.

Citizens Advice was not the only charity to offer comments on this extension as StepChange also called for renters to not be forgotten.

Peter Tutton, the Head of Policy for StepChange, provided the following comments on the announcement: “Given that there will undoubtedly be people currently furloughed who are subsequently made redundant, it’s very clear that some mortgage holders who are going to need help perhaps don’t even realise it yet. This extension is therefore essential.

“At the same time, a further temporary extension also makes sense for others who are unable to get back to their normal financial situation as soon as they had hoped, but who will do before long.

“We strongly support firm’s signposting all negatively affected customers to debt advice: charities like StepChange can help people think through their whole financial situation, not just their mortgage.

“The mortgage extension does beg the question about whether similar interventions will be forthcoming from the Government to protect tenants in a similar way.

“The FCA cites ‘keeping a roof over people’s heads during a public health crisis’ as part of its rationale for intervention, and this applies as much in the rented sector as to the mortgage sector.”

Father insight on these type of issues may be forthcoming in the coming days.

The FCA detailed that they would be taking comments and questions on the extension rules following the announcement, with this consultation period scheduled to end today.

They detailed that following this period, further details and clarifications would be provided.

Published at Tue, 26 May 2020 17:16:00 +0000