‘Urgent action’ needed to help mortgage prisoners after latest interest rate hike


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Mortgage prisoners trapped in arrangements with current lenders will struggle to make repayments after today’s Bank of England rate hike, campaingers have warned. The Bank of England (BOE) hiked interest rates for the tenth consecutive time earlier today from 3.5 to 4 percent, a decision which will mean many people’s mortages will become more expensive. 

Around a quarter of a million (250,000) British homeowners are stuck with their mortgage deal because their administrators have become inactive or unable to authorise new products.

Many took out their loans with lenders that had to be rescued during the financial crisis such as Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley – some have since had their mortgages sold on to another provider.

Now, campaigners are calling on the Government to step in before more people lose their homes.

They have been highlighting the issue of mortgage prisoners for years and say the situation is getting worse.

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A spokesperson fo rthe UK Mortgage Prisoners Group said: “We cannot overstate the disastrous impact of a 10th base rate rise on their members who are suffering intolerable stress in the face of unaffordable high payments charged by profiteering vulture funds.

“The majority of borrowers in the active market are understandably deeply worried about coming off low fixed rates onto other fixed rates of around 5 precent.

“However, rates around 5 percent were what UK Mortgage Prisoners have been trapped on for almost 15 years after the sell off of our mortgages, from Northern Rock and other banks who failed in the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 to 8, and were rescued by Government who permitted non lenders, such as the infamous Cerberus, to buy our mortgages and offer no other products or rates.”

Following today’s announcement the Bank of England is increasing interest rates further, mortgage prisoners could be faced with average rates of 8.14 percent the campaigning group has warned.

The spokesperson added: “Mortgage Prisoner mortgage administrators trapped our members on these high variable rates during a decade of historic low interest rates we were not able to benefit from.

“As the base rates have risen over the past year these rises have been passed to mortgage prisoners and the outcome is that after today’s announcement, our average rate will be an unsustainable 8.14 percent.

“UK Mortgage Prisoners, who took their mortgages before the stringent revision of lending regulations post-Crash, who spent a decade being told they “Can’t afford to pay less” have been landed with payments far in excess of so-called affordability, with no forbearance.”

Furthermore, campaigners said there has been a “deafening silence” from the FCA on help for Mortgage Prisoners and some could now be faced with having to sell their homes or have them reposessed.

More than 750,000 households are at risk of  default following today’s announcement that the base rate has risen to four percent today, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Today’s rise – an increase of 0.5 percent – puts the Bank of England’sinterest rates at its highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

Following the hike, the average mortgage borrower can expect to pay an extra £52 per month.

Those who have been on a variable rate since the start of the series of hikes, they could be paying an extra £430 more per month when compared to December 2021.

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