Mortgage complaints rise as people struggle to pay off debt
In today's edition of FUN AUSTERITY NEWS, mortgage complaints to the Ombudsman are at a record high - mostly because people are struggling to actually make their monthly payments. 13600 people contacted the Financial Ombudsman last year to ask for help over a mortgage or other kind of unsecured loan.
But the Ombudsman has criticised people for being in debt denial, leaving it until things get desperate and making ‘unreasonable’ demands – like asking for mortgage repayments to be suspended while they get a better job/look behind the back of the sofa/go on the game.
A third of desperate lenders were getting well behind in their payments and had let things get to breaking point before seeking help.
Chief ombudsman Tony Boorman advised:
‘Many of the cases where people face losing their home have been heart-breaking to deal with - but could potentially have been avoided. So if money is tight, you should never be afraid to ask for help or guidance. Speak up sooner rather than later - there's a lot that can be done to help before things get out of hand.’
But as well as giving desperate homeowners a slap on the wrist for letting things slip, it did also criticise mortgage lenders for taking a ‘black and white approach’ to helping customers get through tough times.
Hmm. Not good. Maybe lenders need to be a bit more flexible, to help us through the financial squeeze. How about an indefinite mortgage amnesty when the interest rates go up? Too much to ask?