People struggling to make mortgage repayments still behave like ostriches rather than deal with thei...
People struggling to make mortgage repayments still behave like ostriches rather than deal with their problems, according to a joint report by the Building Societies Association and charity Shelter.
"Mutual Advice – BSA and Shelter's guide to mortgage arrears" shows that 91% of those who have a mortgage say that if they had problems making their payments they would contact their mortgage lender.
However, reality bring other reactions as the majority of customers do not contact their lender when faced with difficulties, BSA and Shelter say.
Ben Jackson, director of External Affairs at Shelter, says that "there is a worrying contradiction between what people think they will do and what they actually do when faced with mortgage arrears".
"Having difficulty paying for your home is a particularly stressful and traumatic experience - there is a real fear that it could ultimately lead to the devastating outcome of homelessness," he says.
But burying your head in the sand is not the solution. Shelter and BSA urge people who are currently experiencing mortgage arrears or those who predict problems will arise to "act now" as it often will make the process easier, and will help customers to keep their home.
People who turn a blind eye to their problems might face even more difficulties in the future, the report adds.
Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA, says that building societies do not want to repossess people's homes, and will do everything they can to reschedule payments and help someone organise their finances.
"During that first call to their building society, it is important for the mortgage arrears process to be two-way, with the customer being totally honest about their financial situation."
Despite a 53% drop in mortgage arrears over the last five years, there are still nearly 110,000 homeowners finding it hard to pay for their mortgages, the report says.
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