Mortgage lenders have today announced a voluntary moratorium on possessions from Monday 13 December until Tuesday 4 January 2022.
The industry is committed to providing ongoing support to those in financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic, especially those who may be worried about making their mortgage payments over the Christmas period.
Members of UK Finance and the Building Societies Association have agreed that they will not seek, or enforce, a warrant for possession for residential and buy-to-let properties during this period.
There was a previous 12-month pause on possessions from April 2020 to April 2021 which helped those struggling with their finances during Covid-19 lockdowns.
The possessions moratorium sits alongside other forbearance measures which lenders continue to use for customers struggling with their mortgage payments.
Eric Leenders, Managing Director of Personal Finance at UK Finance, said: “Lenders have come together to agree a voluntary pause on possessions over Christmas and the new year, providing customers peace of mind that they will stay in their homes over the festive period. For anyone who is struggling with their finances, there are a range of options available, and lenders stand ready to help. Customers should contact their lender as soon as possible if they need support.”
Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage and Housing Policy at the Building Societies Association, said: “Repossessing someone’s home is an absolute last resort and lenders do all that they can to provide people suffering financial difficulties with the tailored support that they need. The aim is to help people get back on their feet, but this Christmas and New Year moratorium will give some respite to those who have reached the end of the road. For anyone who is facing financial difficulty the message is to get in touch with your lender early, as this gives the best chance of success.”
Lenders always show flexibility to borrowers in financial difficulty and a mortgage possession is a last resort after tailored support is exhausted, and a thorough court-based process has carefully considered the borrower’s individual circumstances.
Notes to Editor
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UK Finance is the collective voice for the banking and finance industry. Representing around 300 firms across the industry, we act to enhance competitiveness, support customers and facilitate innovation.
The Building Societies Association (BSA) The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents all 43 UK building societies, as well as 6 of the larger credit unions. Building societies, which as mutuals are owned by their customers, provide mortgages and savings to around 25 million people in the UK.
- Court hearings may go ahead between 13 December and 4 January, however, evictions will not be enforced until after the end of the moratorium.
- Outside of this period, lenders will comply with any prevailing government guidance that impacts on a customer’s ability to vacate the property, for example, self-isolation or stay-at-home requirements. They will not enforce a possession, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- UK Finance’s latest arrears and possessions data is here. Arrears remain close to historic lows. Possessions cases currently going through the courts are customers who were in financial difficult before the pandemic
- Please see a supporting blog here from UK Finance here
- Please see the BSA consumer leaflet for those having difficulty paying their mortgage here