FOS: Borrowers told to wait until in arrears

Mortgage Introducer

October 20, 2015

The Ombudsman’s Martyn James advised consumers falling into financial difficulties to seek help before it’s too late.

His message mirrored what the Ombudsman said in May last year – but it seems not everyone is getting the message.

From April to September 2015 the Ombudsman received 5,948 complaints, 31% of which were upheld.

James, who is head of media at the FOS, said: “For some years now we’ve been encouraging people who are struggling with their mortgages to speak up before they get too far behind with their payments.

“A third of the mortgage complaints we’re asked to help sort out involve financial difficulties, so seeking help early is the key to resolving a problem.

“Though we have seen many improvements in the way some lenders deal with complaints about affordability, disappointingly, we’re still encountering cases where people have been told not to get in touch until they’re in arrears.

“We’ve made it clear that this is not acceptable and we expect to see lenders helping people who are concerned about their mortgages before they get into trouble.

“We’re also seeing an increase in porting complaints due to tighter Mortgage Market Review criteria.”

Complaints about mortgages still fell to 2,609 from July to September 2015 from 3,333 during the same period last year.

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