It does not come as a particular surprise to anyone, but news from the Citizens Advice service shows that record levels of people are worried and looking for help with rising debt levels.
According to the BBC, there was a 35% rise in mortgage queries in January and February compared with 12 months ago. That is a worrying trend and will no doubt be compounded by the rising levels of customers coming off low short to medium term fixed rates into a fragmented remortgage market.
This serves to illustrate a couple of points. Firstly, that the need for independent, professional advice is greater than ever. Second, that lenders must work closer with brokers when dealing with issues that may arise over mortgage payments.
Customers struggling or worried about payments who raise issues with lenders should be referred back to their brokers who can assist – that is what we are here for. The more lenders share information with brokers, with regards to arrears or missed payments, then the more often a trip into further arrears or worse could be avoided.
I do not buy the data protection argument many lenders hide behind as soon as a client has completed. Some lenders share this information so why not all, as long as the customer is happy, and the broker for that matter. In fact, if a broker is not interested in helping clients post-completion, then it makes a mockery of claims that they are there to help the customer in the first instance.
In these more difficult times such a partnership between lender and broker can only ensure that customers are treated more fairly, and many of the potential more serious issues could be avoided.
It is surely in everyone’s interests?