Ensure clients can ride out next storm

JAMES WATSON, SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR, PAYMENTSHIELD
JAMES WATSON, SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR, PAYMENTSHIELD

The number of people struggling to pay their mortgage has surged by 78% over the past year, research has found.

A YouGov survey of some 2,000 Britons reveals the extent of home owners struggling to pay their mortgage – three million mortgage holders across the country or the equivalent of one in six.

The 18% of home owners now struggling is in stark contrast to the 10% who said they were in major difficulties this time last year.

At the same time debt charity the Consumer Credit Counselling Service has seen a rise in people who have no fixed abode calling its helpline. The CCCS has already counselled almost 15,000 people with mortgage arrears, with 6,820 of them in this year alone.

Few of us remember the lessons of past recessions when times were good and it seemed that house prices would forever increase in value.
Credit was easy to come by and if the worst happened and we lost or job, fell ill or had an accident, the equity we had built up in our home would see us all right. That rings pretty hollow today.

The financial services sector must accept some of the blame for home owners’ predicament.

We bought into the paradigm of ever-increasing property prices and products reflected a drive for easy profit at the expense of suitability.

Losing the roof over your head must be a great shock. Brokers have a duty to ensure clients are covered and can ride out the next financial storm.