Homeowners in financial difficulty will be able to defer the interest payments on their mortgages for up to two years under new plans announced by Gordon Brown.
The Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme is designed to help people struggling to keep up their repayments because of job loss or illness.
The economy's slide into recession and rising unemployment has seen the number of homes repossessed increase steadily over the year.
The scheme has the support of the eight largest lenders: HBOS, Nationwide, Abbey, Lloyds TSB, Northern Rock, Barclays, RBS and HSBC. They will now work with the Government on the finer details of the plan, with a view to it being officially launched early in 2009.
The Government also recently reached an agreement with the major lenders to wait at least three months before starting repossession proceedings against customers in arrears.
"It is always our priority to do all we can to help homeowners in financial difficulty," said Joy Griffiths, Lloyds TSB managing director of mortgages. "We welcome the announcement today and will continue working with the Government as the details of this arrangement are refined, including who is eligible for the scheme."
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