Page last updated at 21:58 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Reaction to the mortgage help plan

For Sale and To Rent signs
Help has been announced for people struggling with mortgage repayments

An extension of assistance for those struggling with mortgage repayments has been announced by the prime minister.

Gordon Brown told MPs that a guarantee would be provided by the government, which would allowing homeowners made redundant to defer payment of some of their mortgage interest payments.

The eight largest lenders, which provide 70% of mortgages, have agreed to sign up to the scheme but full details have yet to be released.

GEORGE OSBORNE, SHADOW CHANCELLOR
[We do not know] exactly what proportion of interest someone will be able to defer, and indeed whether the six-month moratorium that the prime minister trumpeted means much in practice - if it's actually from the date that someone misses a payment... many mortgage companies already wait many, many months before taking someone to court.

So as always with Gordon Brown, don't just look at the headlines, look at the detail.

NICK CLEGG, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER

I welcome much of what [Gordon Brown] has announced. If only he had listened to us three months ago, four months ago, when we made precisely the same recommendations.

PETER TUTTON, CITIZENS' ADVICE

We've certainly seen a steady increase, and more recently, a larger increase in people coming to Citizens' Advice Bureaus.

We've got something like 400 inquiries every day of people with mortgage and secured loans and that will soon build up.

ADAM SAMPSON, SHELTER

We certainly hope it works out... and believe me, we'll be pressing to see that as a result. What we haven't seen in the scheme is the details.

We don't know whether there's a sort of pre-qualification element, where the government will only say, or lenders will only say, 'I'm sorry, you in your circumstances, you're too risky, you will not qualify for the scheme'.

BECCY WILKS, NATIONAL DEBTLINE

Often we'll advise people if you've got mortgage arrears, first of all speak to your mortgage lender, can they give you a payment holiday, can they put you on interest only for a while.

We're going to see... a rise in unemployment, people that have been made redundant, but hopefully if people can find other work it's just short-term measures - it's just that short-term support they need before they're then earning again.

DAVID ORR, NATIONAL HOUSING FEDERATION
It's very important that we do as much as we can to bring confidence back to people and anything that can avoid the trauma and the personal and social cost of repossession has to be welcomed.

Repossessions are not good for the banks and building societies, they're clearly not good for the households and individuals concerned, and they come at considerable cost to the country as a whole so these measures do seem to me to be a proper response to a real crisis in the housing market.

JOE HIGGINS, HBOS HEAD OF MORTGAGES

We welcome this initiative. We believe it will provide an additional tool to complement our comprehensive procedures for potential repossession cases. We now need to work through the detail with the government.

We are committed to working with customers who are experiencing financial difficulty, to help them stay in their own homes. We offer a range of options to help them recover their financial position.


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