The chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel has called on mortgage lenders to do more to encourage homeowners in difficulty to seek advice before their problems mount.
Adam Phillips made the plea in a speech to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), following research that revealed over four in ten (41 per cent) consumers having difficulty with keeping up their mortgage repayments are not seeking advice.
During the speech, Mr. Phillips told the audience: "When people get into difficulty with their mortgages, they need constructive help and advice on the best way forward.
"Mortgage lenders have a duty under the principle of treating customers fairly both to help their customers in arrears and to tell them about independent sources of advice."
The study found that, despite over two in five people not seeking advice when running into problems with their mortgages, seven out of eight considered their situation to be of a serious nature.
Of those who did seek advice, 65 per cent went to their mortgage lender, while one in four opted to speak with the Citizens' Advice Bureau. Experiences were mixed with some saying their lender was unhelpful, while others thought their provider had done all they could to help them.
Central to the reluctance of some to seek advice seems to be the perception that consumers' personal situations mean guidance is inappropriate or unnecessary for them.
"We need to do much more to encourage consumers in difficulty to get advice early. Debt advice agencies must not be seen as a last resort when all else has failed."
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.