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.
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