The Chancellor undertakes to look for “practicable solutions” to help mortgage prisoners – and praises the MSE campaign
What the Chancellor agreed to to help mortgage prisoners
So-called “mortgage prisoners” are homeowners who are unable to get a cheaper contract with another lender because they do not meet strict credit criteria, although they would often pay less if they switched. Martin and MoneySavingExpert.com have been campaigning for more help for those who are stuck for years. Last November, a landmark report published by the London School of Economics (LSE) and funded by Martin set out practical policy solutions.
Calling on Sunak on what the government can do to help, Martin said, “If you are ready to provide a guarantee that will help first-time buyers and others, pay a 5% deposit [the scheme announced in the Budget this week]Are you going to do the same for the 200,000+ who have been mortgage prisoners since the 2007 financial crash?
“They’re in closed-loop mortgages that have been resold by the government and pay more interest than anyone else. These people are desperate – some have committed suicide, many have tried suicide. Could be a similar scheme, or something similar not to be set up? “
Sunak replied, “You are absolutely right to highlight this issue, and thank you for all you are doing. I know your study with the LSE has been very informative for us to think through. And I think this is the number of 250,000 I think the study also says that about half of them can switch, but you’re right, we still need to make sure we have workable solutions for everyone and I know we are working with the LSE and others . “
Martin then pushed for a more specific answer, asking, “Something similar for mortgage prisoners would work?”
Sunak replied, “As you know, there are a lot of complicated reasons and all of these people are slightly different, but we are finding ways to get people to switch, but you are right that we should keep working on it and I can myself Commit For you, that’s what we do. “