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Leeds Building Society boosts online support for borrowers as Government extends mortgage payment holiday scheme

Leeds Building Society has updated and improved its online application process for temporary deferral of mortgage repayments - or ‘mortgage payment holidays’ - after the Government extended the scheme until the end of October and the FCA updated the finalised regulatory guidance on 16 June.

Mortgage payment holidays are just one of the ways the Society is supporting homeowners whose finances have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“While it remains best advice to pay your mortgage if you can, we know some families who’ve taken a payment holiday already will welcome being able to now defer repayments for up to six months,” said Jaedon Green, Leeds Building Society’s Chief Customer Officer.

“For those households with temporary financial pressures as a result of Covid-19, this is important functionality and we’re proud to be one of the very first lenders to be able to make it available to borrowers in need.”

The first borrowers who chose a mortgage payment holiday are now coming to the end of this three month period and need to consider what to do next.

Jaedon said: “Customers should wait for our letter or email at the end of their mortgage payment holiday, which will explain the impact on their repayments and any action they need to take.

“The letter or email will direct them to the relevant part of our website, which we continue to refresh with the latest information and guidance.”

To make the process as straightforward as possible, Leeds Building Society has added to its website’s functionality so customers can review and choose the most suitable option.

“The pandemic is a worrying time for so many people, about their finances and much more,” said Jaedon.

“We’ve tried to make the process as straightforward as possible for anyone who’s taken a mortgage payment holiday since March or is thinking they may need to in the coming months.

“At the end of the mortgage payment holiday, we’ll recalculate the monthly repayment, to ensure the deferred repayments are spread over the remaining term of the mortgage. There is also an option to extend the mortgage term.

“While we’ll continue to work with any borrowers experiencing longer-term financial difficulties, customers who applied for a mortgage payment holiday as a precaution should be aware the deferral of monthly payments or extending the mortgage term results in additional interest payable over the life of the mortgage.

“For this reason, our borrowers have the option to repay some or all of the deferred repayments by lump sum immediately if they wish.”

For borrowers directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Society has a dedicated page at https://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/coronavirus-information/

In response to the pandemic, Leeds Building Society also decided to waive any arrears fees until the end of June and will not seek possession of any properties before the end of October, unless the borrower requests it.

Ends

Notes to Editors

Leeds Building Society’s process recognises the additional guidance released by the regulator to ensure customers have enough information to be able to make an informed choice, before requesting additional payment deferrals.

To discuss a new case with one of our mortgage development team, mortgage introducers should go to www.leedsintroducer.co.uk to find details of their nearest Business Developer contact.

Leeds Building Society won the title of Best Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender in the 2019 What Mortgage Awards, its fourth consecutive year of success in this category. It also was named Best Lender for Later Life Lending in the Legal & General Mortgage Club Awards 2019.

The Society operates throughout the UK and had assets of £20.8bn at 31 December 2019 (£19.4bn at 31 December 2018). The UK’s fifth-largest building society has its head office in the centre of Leeds, where it has been based since 1886.