'Mortgage Prisoner' Campaign

Thank you for contacting me about ‘mortgage prisoners’.

I can understand that it is frustrating to be unable to pass the affordability check when re-mortgaging a current mortgage. I am pleased that action has been taken to help homeowners who have found themselves in this difficult situation.

I hope it comes as a reassurance that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has decided to amend its rules on re-mortgaging following a consultation on this issue. As a result, lenders can now be more lenient to individuals who are seeking to re-mortgage their homes. Recent changes announced by the FCA will mean that mortgage lenders can carry out assessments on consumers who are looking to switch to a new mortgage deal so long as they are up-to-date with mortgage payments and do not want to borrow more. If customers fulfil these requirements, then they should be assessed by lenders in order to apply for a new mortgage.

Equally, customers who feel they have been treated unfairly can make a formal complaint to their lender. If they believe that such a complaint is not dealt with satisfactorily, they can refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service. I am also proud to have recently stood on a manifesto pledge to improve access to mortgages for the self employed and shall be following Government activity on this closely.

Thank you again for contacting me. If you would like to stay up to date with the latest information from me, you can sign up to my e-newsletter here.