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Coronavirus support for mortgage customers

We are already working hard to help customers who have been impacted by coronavirus by offering a mortgage payment deferral (payment holiday) or partial payment deferral for up to 3 months and this is still available for all mortgage customers until the 31 October 2020.

If you have already taken a payment deferral and you are still impacted and need additional support for a longer period, we have options available.

This could be either an extended payment deferral for up to a further 3 months or an alternative solution and we can review what is right for you depending on your personal circumstances. There is more detail below.

Below is some helpful information about mortgage payment deferrals. Please take the time to review this detail before getting in touch so you understand some of the options available to you. Whatever help you are looking for, it is very important that you don’t cancel your direct debit until we confirm to you that we have been able to approve your request and we will let you know what you need to do next.

What is a mortgage payment deferral?

A mortgage payment deferral is a temporary break from making your mortgage payments. You may have previously heard the term payment holiday. You won’t go into arrears during the period of the payment holiday and your credit rating won’t be affected.

It is important to understand that interest will still continue to be charged at the current rate applicable and added to your balance. This will result in the amount of interest that you pay over the term of the mortgage increasing and may also mean your monthly payments will increase.

It’s in your best interests to continue to make some payments towards your mortgage.

What happens to my mortgage payment amount after a payment deferral?

When your payment deferral ends, payments will start again. We will recalculate your monthly payment, and you may see it increase as your mortgage balance will now include payments not made during the deferral. If you have a repayment mortgage, we may be able to extend your mortgage to reduce the impact on your monthly payments.

If you have an interest only mortgage, your overall mortgage balance will increase as a result of the monthly interest payments being deferred. This is because the interest will continue to accrue during the deferral, but the interest payments aren’t being made. We will recalculate your monthly payment based on the increased balance.

It’s important that you understand how a payment deferral will impact your future payments, so that you can make sure your mortgage is still affordable or whether you will need any additional support.

Please use the MoneySuperMarket link below to estimate this:

https://www.moneysupermarket.com/mortgages/search/payment-holiday

What happens if I require additional support at the end of the payment deferral?

If you still find yourself impacted by coronavirus there are a number of options that are available to help you at this time:

  1. A further payment deferral extension for 3 months
  2. Making reduced payments or a partial payment deferral
  3. Where the mortgage is on a repayment basis look at a temporary change to interest only to reduce the amount you are currently paying
  4. Longer term solutions that may include extending the term of your mortgage or looking for an alternative product.

Again, the options above may result in you paying additional interest over the term of the mortgage so where you can afford to end your payment deferral and make payments you should do so.

How do I apply for a mortgage payment deferral or extension of up to a further 3 months to your current payment deferral?

If you have a Co-operative Bank or Britannia mortgage our preferred option is for you to call 0343 4873016 for our Automatic Payment Deferral Line (call charges). You will need your account number and date of birth for this automated service.

If you have a Platform, Mortgage Agency Services or Verso mortgage our preferred option is for you to call 0343 4873071 for our Automatic Payment Deferral Line (call charges). You will need your account number and date of birth for this automated service, please do not enter your banking sort code details, only your mortgage account number.

Before applying, please make sure you've read and understood the information above.

Upon receipt of the request, if this is an extension of your payment deferral, we will look to contact you at the earliest opportunity to talk through your circumstances and ensure that this is the most appropriate option for you and ensure you understand the implications of your request.

Alternatively you can e-mail us. If you hold a Britannia or Co-operative Bank mortgage, please email paymentholiday@co-operativebank.co.uk. If you hold a Platform, Mortgage Agency Services or Verso mortgage, please email paymentholiday@wmsl.co.uk and we will be in touch to request further information and will contact you to discuss. Please include your mortgage account number in your e-mail.

When e-mailing please include the following information:

  1. Lender
  2. Mortgage account number
  3. Name
  4. If a joint mortgage do both parties agree to the application (Y/N)
  5. Length of payment deferral (1, 2 or 3 months)
  6. Reason for further extension:
    1. Loss of employment / reduced hours
    2. Self-employed - business impact
    3. Illness/Self Isolating
    4. Child care reasons
    5. Other

Please note: We use Transport Layer Security (TLS) to encrypt and protect email traffic. If your mail server does not support TLS, you should be aware that any emails you send to us, or emails you request from us, may not be protected in transit.

If I want to look at different options of support instead of a further payment deferral?

If you feel a further full payment deferral is not suitable for your circumstances we can look at other options available to you. Again, as we will for a payment deferral, we will talk to you to understand your circumstances so we can make sure we provide you with the most appropriate support. To enable us to do this we will need you to provide some simple information around income and expenditure. You can either contact us via the numbers below or by e-mail; we will then contact you to discuss the options available.

If you hold a Britannia or Co-operative Bank mortgage, please email paymentholiday@co-operativebank.co.uk. If you hold a Platform, Mortgage Agency Services or Verso mortgage, please email paymentholiday@wmsl.co.uk and we will be in touch to request further information and will contact you to discuss. Please include your mortgage account number in your e-mail.

If you have a Co-operative Bank or Britannia mortgage, our preferred option is for you to call 0343 4873016 for our Automatic Payment Deferral Line (call charges) selecting Option 4 to speak to an agent.* You will need your account number and date of birth for this automated service. The e-mail address if you have a Co-operative Bank or Britannia mortgage is: paymentholiday@co-operativebank.co.uk.

If you have a Platform, Mortgage Agency Services or Verso mortgage, our preferred option is for you to call 0343 4873071 for our Automatic Payment Deferral Line (call charges) selecting option 4 to speak to an agent.* You will need your account number and date of birth for this automated service. Please do not enter your banking sort code details, only your mortgage account number.

* Call waiting times are often shorter between 9am and 11am so if possible call during these times if you want to speak to one of our agents.

Before applying, please make sure you’ve read and understood the information above.

Next steps

Supporting you at this time is a key priority for us and we will do all we can to get back to you as soon as possible, but please bear with us as we are experiencing a high volume of applications.

You don’t need to provide evidence of financial difficulties for a payment deferral, but where an extension is required or other options are considered, we will need to understand your circumstances better and will seek to work with you to ensure the best outcome.

If you hold your mortgage jointly with another person, it’s important that you obtain their consent before you apply. We only need instruction from one of you for a payment deferral, we will however write to all parties to the mortgage once the payment deferral has been put in place.

Please do not cancel your monthly direct debit. Once your deferral is processed, we will suspend payments, please note we need at least 5 working days to suspend a direct debit.

What should I do if I am currently in mortgage arrears and would like a payment deferral?

You can still apply for a payment deferral or extension to your current one if you having existing arrears on your mortgage account and are experiencing difficulties due to coronavirus. As a payment deferral may not be the best option for you, it’s important that one of our agents discusses the best solution for your circumstances. You can reach us through the telephone numbers referenced above or can request an agent to contact you via request through the e-mail addresses also referenced above.

What happens to the interest on my mortgage during a payment deferral?

Interest will continue to be applied to your mortgage during your payment deferral, but we won’t ask you to pay this at the time. This will mean that the total amount of interest you pay over the term of your mortgage will increase and this will be collected over the remainder of the mortgage term.

Where your mortgage is on a repayment basis then it's the capital which we defer, and this will be collected over the remainder of the mortgage term.

Are you waiving penalties for missed payments?

We don’t apply penalties for missed payments.

Will my credit file be affected?

No. A payment deferral won’t have any adverse impact on your credit status. Other options considered may impact your credit file, but where it does we will discuss this with you.

What if I am a Buy To Let customer?

If your tenant is impacted as a result of coronavirus all of the above options will apply to your mortgage and will be considered in your circumstances. However the relief that this will provide is intended to support your tenant and therefore it’s important that you pass this on.

What other support is available?

There are a number of organisations that you can contact provide free, confidential and impartial advice including:

Money Advice Service: For free, easy-to use money tolls, information and advice, visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk. You can also phone 0800 138 7777 to speak to a money expert, use typetalk at 18001 0800 915 4622, or add +44 7701 342744 to your Whatsapp to send a message.

Money Advice Scotland: If you live in Scotland, visit www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk where you can use webchat to speak to an advisor, or e-mail webchat@moneyadvicescotland.org.uk.

Citizens Advice: For advice and information on debt and other topics, contact your local Citizens Advice or go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk.

Citizens Advice Scotland: For advice and information on debt and other topics, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, go to www.cas.org.uk, or call the Helpline on 0800 028 1456.

Advice NI: If you live in Northern Ireland, phone 0800 028 1881, e-mail debt@adviceni.net or visit www.adviceni.net.

Citizens Advice Wales: If you live in Wales, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales, or you can call Advicelink on 03444 77 20 20 if you want to speak to someone about your debts. Calls cost the same as calls to the landline numbers.

AdviceUK: Member centres offer debt advice including specialist advice for minority communities and people disabilities. Visit www.adviceuk.org.uk.

National Debtline: If you live in England, Wales and Scotland phone 0808 808 4000 or visit www.nationaldebtline.org.

StepChange Debt Charity: For free debt advice throughout the UK phone 0800 138 1111 or visit www.stepchange.org.

Business Debtline: If you are self-employed or a small business owner, phone 0800 197 6026 or visit www.businessdebtline.org for debt advice and information.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP): For free debt advice. Check post code coverage at www.capuk.org then call 0800 328 0006.