FCA Proposes Extension on Mortgage Holidays as England’s Second National Lockdown Looms

With England’s second national coronavirus lockdown coming into effect this Thursday, the FCA have recently proposed an extension to the mortgage holidays deadline. Under such proposals, borrowers will have until the 31st January next year (2021) to apply for the payment holiday.

 

The scheme was set to end last Saturday, however, with the FCA’s new proposal, borrowers could now be provided with a little more leeway in light of the current situation, and the new measures due to be implemented.

 

According to UK Finance, some 2.5 million borrowers have opted for a mortgage payment break since the pandemic first begun.

 

Last week, a Joseph Rowntree Foundation study found 1.6 million households were concerned about their mortgage payments for the next three months. This new extension to the mortgage holiday scheme could be a welcome relief for some, providing support for borrowers who are financially struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The FCA’s Proposal

 

On Monday the 2nd of November, the FCA proposed to extend the payment holiday availability, adding to their website a section on “Our proposals to extend support”, stating:

 

“We announced that we would propose more support for people affected by coronavirus. We’ve set out these proposals below. If these are confirmed, we’ll provide details on how to apply for this support.”

 

“Remember, don’t contact your lender about this extended support just yet. But if you’re struggling with your finances, get in touch with your lender to discuss your options.”

 

What Does This Extension Mean for Borrowers? 

 

This extension could come as a great relief for borrowers struggling with mortgage repayments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The FCA’s proposals set out earlier this week included the following measures:

 

  • Those who haven’t already taken out a payment holiday will be eligible for a maximum of two payment deferrals over a total period of six months.
  • Those who already have a payment holiday will be able to apply for another deferral of three months.
  • Those who had a payment holiday but have now resumed their mortgage repayments can apply for another deferral of three months.

 

Borrowers who have had two three-month payment holidays already, or alternative support has been agreed with their lender, will not be able to apply for another deferral.

 

The new proposed deadline for requesting a payment holiday is now the 31st January 2021. It has also been reported that deferrals will not be marked on credit files as missed payments.

 

While the government has claimed that using the mortgage payment holidays will not impact upon borrowers’ credit files, some have reported that they found it difficult to get other types of loans after informing lenders that they had deferred their mortgage repayments.

 

Banks currently have until the 5th November (this Thursday) to respond to the FCA’s proposal.