Mortgage arrears charges 'outrageous'

17 August 2009 / by Andy Davies

Fears over mortgage arrears charges, which many homeowners are subject to if they fall behind in their payments, are continuing to grow.

A survey carried out by has revealed providers are charging borrowers large sums of money when they are unable to keep up with their mortgage repayments.

Lloyds TSB is charging borrowers who are in mortgage arrears of three months or more £206, while Abbey is charging borrowers £40 if they have missed one mortgage payment.

Meanwhile some mortgage lenders are charging borrowers for every call they make or letter they send regarding their arrears.

Commenting on the findings, Hannah Skenfield, mortgage channel manager at, said: "It's outrageous that borrowers who are already struggling and who have fallen behind with their mortgage repayments are being hit with such high fees.

"This does nothing to help their situation and just risks exacerbating their problems further. Also, the fact that many of the banks themselves have been bailed out from a similar position, means this is an even more bitter pill to swallow."

Some mortgage providers are also charging homeowners as much as £100 to receive debt counselling, which borrowers can get for free using the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Ms Skenfield added that under the Mortgage Conduct of Business rules, which are regulated by the FSA, all cases of financial hardship should be treated sympathetically.

She said: "Given the inconsistency of these fees and charges between different providers it is hard to see how lenders can argue that they are treating customers fairly.

"Obviously lenders aren't charities, but no one wins if they continue to burden customers with more fees and debt."

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