The bridging market is still open for business but communication is key to help customers identify the best options for their borrowing situation, according to the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL).
Vic Jannels (pictured), CEO of the ASTL, said: “It’s at times like these when the resilience and innovation of the short-term lending sector comes to the fore.
“We have seen lenders introducing new technology and processes to ensure they are able to continue to deliver vital funds for customers, and even received new membership enquiries for the ASTL.
“At the same time, lenders have been working proactively to engage with their existing customers to identify the most appropriate course of action for their circumstances.
“There will certainly be some customers who are experiencing financial distress as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and our immediate guidance for these customers is to speak to their lender as soon as possible, so that you can work together towards a solution.
“Notwithstanding the above, it is important for all borrowing customers to remember that they have a contractual responsibility in relation to the interest payments due, subject to the terms of the loan, and to redeem their loans at the appropriate time.
“Lenders will always be willing to have a conversation with their customers and look to be supportive whenever possible. The current pandemic, however, is no reason to simply ignore your obligations and stop making payments or refuse to communicate with your lender.
“Bridging lenders work tirelessly to engage with customers in genuine difficulty but they, in turn, have their investors and funders to consider and, in turn, do not want to be in breach of their commitments.
“So, our guidance for all customers is to talk immediately to your lender if you are experiencing financial distress. There are often sensible options and ways forward, but these can only be identified by working together.”