Latest commentary from the Mortgage Market Alliance

Rob Griffiths, Director at the Mortgage Market Alliance, says: “Understandably, mortgage lenders have been inundated with worried borrowers contacting them about their future mortgage payments and the options they have, should they feel they’re going to struggle because of the impact of the coronavirus.

“It’s an important conversation to have however, if possible, customers might want to use other forms of communication with lenders, if the phone lines are busy. Many lenders are trying to prioritise both vulnerable customers and those with urgent needs, so it may take a little time to respond to all enquiries but they will respond.

“In the meantime, we’ve heard of borrowers being told to cancel their mortgage direct debits immediately before they speak to their lender – we would seriously urge people not to do this.

“You must speak to your mortgage lender first to find out what options are available to you and in order to agree a formal arrangement. Ideally, take the options presented to you to your mortgage adviser so they can recommend the best course of action for you. But do not cancel direct debits with no agreement in place – if borrowers do this it is likely to be registered as a missed payment and could appear on their credit file.

“Even though borrowers might think time is of the essence, it is better to secure a formal agreement with the lender than act without it.”