COVID-19 | Customer FAQs 

 

Please note we are currently experiencing high levels of calls from our customers in response to the COVID-19. Below are some frequently asked questions to both reassure you and provide you with more information to ensure that you contact us at the right time for your personal circumstances.

 

How do I apply for a Payment Holiday?

We understand that these are unprecedented and difficult times for customers. This is why we are offering customers impacted by COVID-19, the option of a Payment Holiday. Under normal circumstances, we would assess your finances and consider what forbearance options may be most suitable. This is being waived to enable us to implement a more straightforward process at this stressful time.

If you wish we can conduct a full assessment of your finances. Therefore, if you believe that you may be impacted by COVID-19, either directly or indirectly, please contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss if the Payment Holiday is a suitable option for you.

 

Am I eligible for a Payment Holiday? 

This is one of a number of options we can offer. The offer of a Payment Holiday can be made available to customers who are either up to date or in arrears. We will look at your individual circumstances and offer support on a case by case basis.

 

NEW! Should I cancel my Direct Debit?

Cancelling your Direct Debit is not a payment holiday and will be counted as a missed payment if it has not been agreed with us. If you would like to talk about a payment holiday, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your mortgage account number in the subject line and we will contact you.  Due to call volumes, this may take longer than the estimated 7 days. 

Please note: if a payment holiday is agreed, the Direct Debit mandate will remain in place so payments can resume when the agreed payment holiday ends.

 

This is only a short term measure, what happens if I need support longer term to recover my position when the Payment Holiday expires?

Whilst in the Payment Holiday, the capital sum of the loan remains the same, whilst the interest which would have been paid in the period accrues. The impact on your mortgage payments will be discussed at the outset when you enter into the Payment Holiday. At the end of the period depending on the agreement at the outset this may result in increased monthly payment.

 

How does a Payment Holiday work?

The mortgage payment is deferred for a period. The monthly payment changes to zero and interest accrues for the period. This may be particularly appropriate where there is a temporary shortfall of income. However, this is not a solution where, because of a permanent reduction in income, you are unable to afford the full mortgage repayments and there is little prospect of an improvement in your situation in the foreseeable future. Where repayments are deferred you will need to make up these repayments in the future, which could be over the remaining term of the mortgage.

 

How will this affect my credit score?

Different lenders have different approaches for reporting to Credit Reference Agencies.  Arrears that are accrued may be reported to the CRA.  We will in the case of Payment Holidays, ensure that it will not adversely impact your credit score. 

 

What if I am already in Arrears?

You should continue to speak to us, we will review your existing arrangements if there is a change in circumstances.

 

I have a Buy to Let Mortgage; am I entitled to a Payment Holiday?

If you have tenants impacted by COVID-19 and your mortgage is either not in arrears or in an up to date arrangement you may be eligible for a Payment Holiday of up to 3 months, to enable you to pass on this benefit to your tenants. 

 

Lenders have agreed a 3-month moratorium on Residential and Buy to Let possession action, what does this mean?

It means no homes will be repossessed at this difficult time and lenders will not commence any court action.


Will anything happen during this time

We will still be able to issue formal demands to ensure that any impacted customers are fully informed of the money they owe and understand that this will eventually go to possession proceedings. Whilst this letter will be valid for 8 weeks, we will not take any action until the end of the 90-day period.


Are there any exceptions to the 3-month moratorium?

Yes, action will still proceed as normal in relation to empty properties or where you as a customer want the possession to go ahead.

For Buy to Let loans we will still use a Receiver of Rent where appropriate, but would not move to possession if the tenant could not pay, during this 90-day period.