Bleak mid-winter for family facing repossession after NatWest cancels mortgage

23 December 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
NatWest has written to a family to demand that they repay their £226,000 mortgage immediately or face having their home repossessed, despite never missing a mortgage payment.

The bank has given no reason to the Addyman family for why it has asked for their interest only mortgage to be repaid, and is in violation of a promise from its parent company, Royal Bank of Scotland, not to take aggressive action for the first six months that a customer is in arrears.

Due to the recent plummet in house prices, Marian and Peter Addyman, who have three sons, are in negative equity and will become bankrupt if NatWest goes ahead with its threats to repossess their home.

The couple received a letter from their mortgage lender in September which said that after "reviewing" their loan, it would be withdrawn, adding that "Our decision is final and we are not prepared to enter into any discussion in relation to it."

Having only taken the mortgage out six months previously, the family were given just 30 days to remortgage with another lender, but because of their negative equity status and conditions in the lending market have been unable to arrange a new deal.

NatWest has refused to comment in detail on the case or to give any reason as to why it has taken such action against the Addymans, despite calls from their local MP for St Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex. Consumer watchdog Which? and the Citizens Advice Bureau have also spoken on behalf of the couple, but still the bank has declined to explain its actions.

It has said only that "The decision to end any relationship with a customer in this way is made only in response to very limited and exceptional circumstances, and is specific to that individual customer. This is not a move that we take lightly."

"How can a family that has seemingly done nothing wrong face losing their home without any explanation from the bank?" asks Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith. "If there is a good reason for NatWest acting in this way, surely the customer has a right to know what the problem is before they're threatened with losing their home."

Marian Addyman said: "NatWest wrote and offered us the mortgage in February this year, and we paid £1,000 to take up their offer. We just want to know what prompted NatWest to do this to us. We are trying to get another mortgage, but these days it's so difficult and so far we have not been able to. Banks shouldn't be allowed to treat people like this."

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