This week UK Mortgage Prisoners continued their campaign efforts by travelling to Bromsgrove and campaigning outside of the Chancellor, Sajid Javid’s office. As luck would have it, Javid was spotted strolling the local markets and lead campaigner, Rachel Neale, wasted no time in confronting the Chancellor as he emerged from a local café.
In February this year, and following a freedom of information request, This is Money revealed how Sajid Javid axed plans in 2013 meant to help mortgage prisoners as he did not believe enough ‘detriment’ had been suffered. This was despite previous Treasury officials providing evidence that mortgage prisoners were being treated unfairly. The UK Mortgage Prisoners group had made several attempts to meet with the Chancellor but these requests had fallen on deaf ears. The decision to travel to Javid’s office was not taken lightly but comes in the wake of a further sale of NRAM portfolio to Heliodor Mortgages last week. UK Mortgage Prisoners has been inundated with desperate pleas for help and support since letters started arriving in the last week from NRAM advising them that their homes had been sold. Many have taken to the Facebook page to express their concern; knowing only too well from their fellow prisoners who were sold to Cerberus (AKA Landmark Mortgages) that nothing good will come from the sale. Well, not for homeowners anyway.
During the protest, Javid provided Rachel Neale with his Treasury business card, promising to speak with UK Mortgage Prisoners after the general election. This coincides with an email from John Glen yesterday who stated he could not meet with us due to the general election. However, UK Mortgage Prisoners look forward to meeting the Chancellor and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury for some serious discussions about the plight of their members if the Conservatives are re-elected. Top of the agenda will be to discuss the reach of the FCAs new rules announced this week that do not go far enough, or fast enough to help those trapped into high interest rates for over a decade. Just yesterday Mortgage Solutions revealed how the FCA is analysing data of mortgage prisoners whose mortgages are currently held by unregulated and inactive ‘lenders’ but has not committed to disclosing when this will be shared. This is despite the wider lending industry signalling that they cannot develop new products without access to these data. However, accounts received from members in the last few days suggest that many lenders are either unaware of the FCA’s ruling or unwilling to implement them.