Q&A: Support for mortgage customers

The Mansfield Building Society are ready to support customers who are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19, including giving the option of a suspension of mortgage payments.

The Mansfield has the ability to offer a mortgage payment suspension to those borrowers affected by the impact of the Coronavirus ONLY.

It is important to highlight that this may not be deemed to be the most appropriate and effective option to suit your current situation and we have a range of other alternatives that may be available depending on your individual circumstances. So that we can ensure that we are providing you with the best service, the Society will need to go through a few simple questions to understand your personal and financial circumstances.

We are proud to offer a personalised and empathetic approach and appreciate that this is an unsettling period of time. I wish to assure you that during this period of time we will do all we can to support you and your families through this difficult period. By suspending mortgage payments, the interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your mortgage balance and therefore once this period has finished, your monthly payment will be re-calculated to take account of the higher balance. Please note that you will be paying more interest over your remaining mortgage term. Furthermore, given the announcements made yesterday, there may also be other more suitable Government initiatives available to you either individually if you are self-employed, or via your employer.

We can also offer you more tailored support according to your individual situation if you wish to go through a full assessment of your circumstances.

What is a payment holiday?

With a payment holiday your mortgage payments are suspended, and you will not have to make any monthly payments for a set amount of time, in this case up to three months currently.

However, it’s important to remember that you still owe that money and the interest on your mortgage still accrues during a payment holiday, therefore increasing the amount owed on your mortgage.

At the end of the period for which your payments have been suspended, we will contact you to assess your circumstances and agree a manageable way for you to repay the interest charges incurred and make up the suspended payments. We have a range of options available to help you to do this.

Will I be eligible for a payment holiday?

To be eligible for a payment holiday you will need to be up to date on your mortgage payments.

If you are a Buy-to-Let landlord, it will be available if your tenants have lost income because of the impact of COVID-19. Landlords are expected to pass on this relief to their tenants to ensure they are supported during this time.

There a number of options available and payment holidays aren’t always the most suitable solution for everyone. By speaking to us we can tailor the best option for you.

How do I apply?

You don’t need to provide any documentation; you will just need to go through a few questions about your current situation and self-certify that your income has been either directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19.

If you are a Buy-to-Let landlord, you will need to self-certify that your tenant’s income has been impacted by COVID-19. Landlords are expected to pass on this relief to their tenants to ensure that they are supported during this time.

In the first instance we would ask that you complete and return via email this Mortgage Payment Holiday Request Form.  The email address to return this form is mortgages@mansfieldbs.co.uk.

At the end of the payment holiday we will contact you to assess your circumstances and agree a manageable way for you to repay the additional interest charges incurred and make up the deferred payments. We have a range of options available to help you do this.

How long will it take for Mansfield Building Society to process my application?

We are doing our best to support customers during these unprecedented times. However, the spread of COVID-19 is also having an impact on our own staff and applications will be dealt with as quickly as possible. We would ask that you bear with us at this difficult time.

What are the alternatives available to me rather than suspending my mortgage payments?

There are a number of other alternatives available, including a temporary switch to Interest Only payments, underpayments, a term extension, or if your mortgage payments are in credit due to you previously having overpaid. With the exception of using an accrued credit balance, these options would require you to speak to us so we can fully assess and understand your current income and expenditure.

If I take a payment holiday what will happen to my credit score?

We will make every effort to ensure that if you take a payment holiday it does not negatively impact on your credit score. The suspension of mortgage payments will not be reported as mortgage arrears.

What happens if I am already in arrears?

If you are concerned about the impact Covid-19 will have on your income, then you should contact us as soon as possible. We will review any changes to your circumstances to ensure that your payments remain sustainable. We are making every effort to support people already in financial difficulty, whilst ensuring your mortgage remains sustainable.

We have agreed to a three month moratorium (from 19 March 2020) on residential and buy-to-let possession actions, meaning that no homes will be repossessed at this difficult time.

How will the possession moratorium work?

We will suspend possession proceedings for 90 days as follows;

  • All possession orders will be suspended
  • We will not commence any court action, including putting the case to court or instructing on matters
  • We are still able to issue a formal demand, so that the customer is aware of the money they owe and are informed that the case will (eventually) go to possession proceedings.
  • This letter is valid for eight weeks, but firms will agree not to take any further steps until the end of the 90 day period
  • Exceptions apply for empty properties or where the customer wants the possession to go ahead
  • For buy-to-let mortgages, lenders would still use a Receiver of Rent where appropriate but would not move to possession if the tenant could not pay

The Building Societies Association (BSA) and National Debtline have produced a leaflet designed to help and support those who are concerned about making their monthly mortgage repayments.

To download the leaflet please click here.

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