Press Comment: Vulnerable mortgage customers
need consistent processes to avoid falling into a spiral of debt
6 December 2018
If you are covering today’s FCA Thematic Review into how the mortgage market manages customers with long-term mortgage arrears, please see the following comment from Gemma Harle, managing director of Intrinsic mortgage network, part of Quilter:
“The results of the FCA’s review of long-term mortgage arrears shows some worrying circumstances where customers are not receiving consistent and appropriate service at what must be an inevitably stressful and financially complicated time. The impact of improper processes is drastic. It can mean people spiral further and further into a debt vortex.
“Customers with long-term mortgage arrears need to be treated as vulnerable. For some the process of actually getting in touch with a lender is the first mountain to climb, so a consistent approach across the industry is key so these types of customers don’t bury their heads in the sand and wait until the problem becomes insurmountable. The industry needs to come together and focus on how to improve its approach to those with long-term mortgage arrears and give these customers the best chance of getting back on track with their payments. However, lenders should treat the illness rather than the symptoms and need to do more to identify and engage customers that are at risk of falling behind on their payments so they can nip the problem in the bud.
“Anyone suffering from any form of debt should make sure that they tackle the problem as early on as possible. Financial advice and guidance can help to both dig you out of a hole of debt but also help them avoid falling into that hole in the first place. Mortgages are likely the biggest loan
they someone ever receives and a mortgage adviser will be able to help someone understand whether it is the right course of action based on their individual circumstances.”