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Mortgages: Government Assistance

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many and what proportion of mortgage lenders have declined to participate directly in the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme; (306892)

(2) which sub-prime lenders have refused to take part in the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme.

We have acted rapidly to put in place a range of help and support at every stage for households struggling with their mortgage. Homeowners Mortgage Support provides a valuable backstop if repossession cannot be prevented in other ways by giving struggling borrowers a breathing space to recover their finances. Lenders covering over 90 per cent. of the residential mortgage market (based on 2008 data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders) have committed to offering this level of extended forbearance: of these, lenders representing over 50 per cent. of the market are offering the Government-backed scheme and over 40 per cent. of the market are offering similar levels of support through their own forbearance without the need for Government guarantee. A list of these lenders can be accessed at:

www.direct.gov.uk/hms

The Government are continuing to engage with those lenders who have not yet made a clear commitment to offer Homeowners Mortgage Support. The Financial Services Authority published the conclusions of its Mortgage Markets Review in October, setting out plans to strengthen regulation of arrears management and charges. This is to include converting their current guidance on forbearance into binding rules that prescribe a non-exhaustive list of tools that firms must employ to help consumers in arrears, including consideration of Government schemes put in place to help borrowers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many of the accepted offers by households under the Mortgage Rescue Scheme between January and September 2009 have been recorded as completed. (306919)

All accepted offers reported by local authorities between January and September 2009 had also been recorded as completed by the end of September 2009 by the Homes and Communities Agency following draw down of grant by the registered social landlord.

The data on the Mortgage Rescue Scheme are official statistics, under which an accepted offer is recorded once contracts between the household, lender and registered social landlord have been signed and finalised.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much of the £80 million for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme announced in April has been spent in each region. (307005)

We have acted rapidly to put in place a range of help and support for households struggling with their mortgage at every stage, and launched a campaign to ensure households have clear information about the help available.

In April’s Budget we announced increased help for homeowners facing repossession, including an expansion of the mortgage rescue scheme to include households in negative equity.

Data published in November for the July to September period show that there were over 1,100 ‘live’ cases, of which 690 cases had benefited from action to stop the immediate threat of repossession and almost 100 households had completed the process and been able to remain in their homes. Regional spend to end September is broken down as follows:

Region

Total spend (£)

East Midlands

324,128

Eastern

1,577,092

London

803,878

North West

997,539

South East

950,950

South West

275,159

West Midlands

2,090,657

Yorkshire and Humberside

268,866

Total

7,288,269

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when figures for the take-up of the (a) Mortgage Rescue Scheme and (b) Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme will next be published. (307073)

We have acted rapidly to put in place a range of help and support for households struggling with their mortgage at every stage, and launched a campaign to ensure households have clear information about the help available.

Mortgage Rescue Scheme summary monitoring statistics are published on a quarterly basis on the Department’s website. Figures can be accessed using the following link:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/mortgagerescuestatistics

Statistics for the October—December period will be published on 11 February 2010.

Management information on Homeowners Mortgage Support was released by the Department on 9 December 2009. Figures can be accessed using the following link:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/corporate/1408110

Information on Homeowners Mortgage Support will next be published by spring 2010.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households in City of York Council area have participated in the Government's temporary scheme to reduce the number of mortgage repossessions during the economic downturn. (307384)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Members for Ashford (Damian Green), Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) and Preseli Pembrokeshire (Mr. Crabb) on 14 December, Official Report, columns 914-915W.