StepChange Debt Charity has today responded to today’s announcement by the Financial Conduct Authority of the next stage of support for mortgage borrowers during the Coronavirus crisis.
Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange, said: “We agree entirely with the FCA’s assessment that many customers will continue to need ongoing support and forbearance beyond the previously agreed payment holidays. We are not out of the woods in terms of people’s vulnerability to financial difficulty arising from the pandemic – such as job losses that haven’t even happened yet. Public support needs to complement regulatory support; now would be a good time to consider restoring support for mortgage interest back to its previous status as a benefit rather than a loan.
“It’s never been more important for firms to remember that repossession should only ever be a last resort. At StepChange, home-owners who need debt advice are able to access not just our normal debt advice service, but also our specialist mortgage debt advice team. This means that all possible options to resolve their debt situation can be explored, including whether remortgaging or equity release may be an appropriate strategy for certain households.”