Payment problems need timely advice

COLETTE BEST, MORTGAGE POLICY ADVISER, BUILDING SOCIETIES ASSOCIATION
COLETTE BEST, MORTGAGE POLICY ADVISER, BUILDING SOCIETIES ASSOCIATION

I recently returned from Hong Kong with a lucky waving cat that is apparently going to make me rich.

This friendly feline is the latest offering in what is becoming a worryingly competitive challenge at BSA Towers to bring back the tackiest holiday memento.

The cat sits on my desk, waving and allegedly attracting wealth, although no-one seems inclined to leave offerings at his paws.

But we should spare a thought for the majority of people who don’t have a cat to watch over them and feel they don’t have anyone to confide in about money worries.

Research by the Money Advice Service found that only 19% of individuals have someone they trust to confide in about money.

This is worrying, given that people who get into difficulties with mortgage payments are more likely to get back on their feet if they seek help from their lender sooner rather than later.

Obtaining the right advice at the right time is crucial in preventing repossessions. We are working on a number of initiatives to help those struggling with mortgage payments, but this month we are launching an updated version of the leaflet, Can’t Pay Your Mortgage?, with advice from us and the Money Advice Trust.

We will also publish a report on long-term safety nets to protect mortgage borrowers. This includes recommendations on how the industry, government and advice agencies can work together to help those at risk of repossession so watch this space.