‘People are losing their homes’ Campaigners call for more help for mortgage prisoners

The Bank of England (BOE) hiked interest rates for the seventh consecutive earlier today from 1.75 to 2.25 percent, a decision which will mean mortages become more expensive. Today’s base rate decision is the largest hike in 14 years leaving around quarter of a million (250,000) British homeowners stuck with their mortgage deal because their administrators have become inactive or unable to authorise new products.

“Therefore, they left us open to profiteering when they sold our mortgages to non lenders who made ineffective promises. We cannot continue to lay out the same arguments repeatedly with little response.

“People are losing their homes, suffering from chronic stress, physical and mental ill health due to the pressure of the interest rate rises and the cost of living.”

They continued: This cannot be allowed to continue. We have members who share their personal stories with us, many tragic, after enduring years of financial trauma leading to vast detriment, family breakdown, mental and physical illness, existing rather than living all while their neighbours who chose another Lender have lived full lives on low fixed rates.

They continued: “We have no resilience left. Certainly not to withstand a crisis on top of the crisis we have endured.

READ MORE: Woman turns to food bank after delay to £150 disability cost of living

“These are real people, often too broken to even tell their stories. The shameful creation and treatment of mortgage prisoners has gone on too long.

“Mortgage prisoners are among the most vulnerable people in the country.

“Not only are there many with ill health, disabilities, poor mental health brought about by stress, but we have had our own a cost-of-living crisis for well over a decade.”

While it is estimated there are 250,000 mortgage prisoners across the UK, a recent report by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found there could be much more. 

Meanwhile, one lender is doing its best to help mortgage prisoners and has launced a product to help them save money.

Jonathan Westhoff, Chief Executive of West Brom, said: “Since launching our products to support mortgage prisoners, we’ve been pleased with the borrowers we’ve been able to help so far, with some borrowers saving up to £700 on their monthly payments.

“Whilst the experience has been positive, we have always accepted that the West Brom can only do so much to help borrowers caught in this situation and have called on other lenders for further support.”

“Irrespective of the response, we still feel that far too few of these borrowers have been alerted to the opportunity to reduce dramatically their monthly mortgage payments.”