38% of brokers would not support borrowers in trouble

Some 38% of brokers says that it is not their role to support borrowers in difficulty.

In its latest broker survey, The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Assocation polled brokers as to their attitude to borrowers in financial difficulty.

And while the sample was small – with only 286 brokers interviewed compared to some estimated 40,000 mortgages brokers working in the UK – only 48% of those brokers endorsed the idea that brokers should support those in trouble. The remaining 14% did not express a view.

But where brokers were keen to play a part in assisting consumers, help offered included helping advise and liaise with the lender, followed by finding a cheaper source of borrowing and checking affordability.

Peter Williams, executive director at IMLA, says: “Many, but not all, brokers are keen to play a more proactive role in supporting borrowers who may get into financial difficulty, seeing this as an integral part of the service they provide.

“It must be stressed that for borrowers who are struggling to pay, dialogue with their lender is essential. Hoping the problem will go away won’t help anyone.”

Brokers polled identify early notification of the problem by the lender, mentioned by 57%, as by far the most significant issue cited by brokers.

A small percentage (9%), proposed the notion that lenders should pay brokers fees for arrears counselling.

In terms of arrears and possessions over half of intermediaries thought arrears would raise a little in 2008, by up to 10%, and that possessions would follow suit but by a slightly more moderate percentage.