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Bereaved families being denied mortgage holidays - ReadSector

Bereaved families being denied mortgage holidays

Bereaved families and struggling homeowners being denied mortgage holidays

Struggling homeowners are being refused more time off mortgage payments, despite the banks being under orders to support customers through the pandemic.

Banking trade body UK Finance insists ‘all customers’ can put off mortgage payments if they ask for help. 

But brokers say those in need are increasingly being denied – especially if they are requesting their second mortgage holiday.

Banking trade body UK Finance insists ‘all customers’ can put off mortgage payments if they ask for help. But brokers say those in need are increasingly being denied

At the start of lockdown, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said homeowners struggling due to coronavirus could have a three-month payment break on their mortgage. 

And in May it announced borrowers could get a further three-month extension to October.

The regulator also told banks it expected them to support customers who need help.

In the first three months of lockdown, more than 1.9 million mortgage holidays were granted. 

Of these, 1.2 million were approved in the first three weeks. But three months on, experts say lenders are taking a tougher line.

When Kat Chadwick’s husband died of coronavirus in April she applied for a three-month mortgage holiday on their home in Rochdale. For the past three years she had been a carer to Philip, 77, who had Parkinson’s.

Last week she asked for a three-month extension to let her get back on her feet.

Kat, 57, and her late husband put their second home on the market in February to allow them to pay off both mortgages. But after the property market froze following the virus crisis, the couple were unable to sell.

Halifax did not offer Kat any support this time.

She says: ‘Unlike the furloughed workers, I don’t have 80 per cent wages and I also don’t have anybody to rely on for help.

‘I feel crushed in every possible way — emotionally, physically and now financially.’ Following Money Mail’s involvement, Halifax apologised and agreed to grant Kat an extension.