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The Mortgage Charter

On Monday 26 June 2023, the Chancellor announced a new Mortgage Charter to provide a range of support measures for struggling mortgage borrowers.

Leek Building Society welcomes the Chancellor's announcement and we pledge our full support to the measures outlined within the Charter. The full Charter can be found by clicking here.

Shown below is a series of frequently asked questions that we've compiled to provide you with additional useful information about how we can help you.

If you're a member of the Society and would like to notify us of any additional support you require, please let us know by using the Contact Form at the bottom of the help and support page, speaking to us in your local branch, or calling us on 0800 093 0004.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the Mortgage Charter?

    The Mortgage Charter is a set of commitments made by lenders to support our residential mortgage borrowers during challenging times. It provides reassurance and outlines various support options available to those who may be struggling with their mortgage including concern about higher interest rates or nearing the end of their existing mortgage deals. This is a voluntary agreement which Leek Building Society has signed up to.

  • What commitments have we made as a lender under the Mortgage Charter?

    As a signatory of the Mortgage Charter, we have committed to all the pledges, many of which are already available:

    • A borrower will not be forced to leave their home without their consent unless in exceptional circumstances, in less than a year from their first missed payment.
    • Borrowers who are up to date with their payments can:
      • Switch to interest-only payments for six months; or
      • Extend their mortgage term to reduce their monthly payments for six months.
      • Both these options are available without the need for the normal affordability assessment and without the arrangement being recorded with Credit Reference Agencies.

    There are no fees involved in setting up an Interest Only or Term Extension as part of the Mortgage Charter

    • You can contact us for help and guidance, without any impact on your credit file.

    Contacting us for support will not have any negative impact on your credit score.

    • Lenders will offer tailored support to customers facing financial difficulties. The options available depend upon each individual’s circumstances and can include extending the mortgage term, temporarily deferring payments, switching to interest-only payments or finding other suitable arrangements.

    We have a dedicated and skilled Financial Support team on hand to support borrowers experiencing financial difficulties, with a variety of options tailored to individual needs.

    • Borrowers who are up to date with payments can switch to a new mortgage at the end of their existing fixed rate deal without another affordability check.

    You can switch to a new mortgage deal (on a like for like basis i.e., no additional borrowing) without requiring another affordability check if you are up to date with your payments.

    • Borrowers receive well-timed information to help them plan ahead should their current rate be due to end. Customers approaching the end of a fixed rate deal will have the chance to lock in a deal up to six months ahead. They will also be able to manage their new deal and request a better like for like deal with their lender right up until two weeks before the new term starts, if one is available.

    We write to all our borrowers four months before their current mortgage deal comes to end. If you lock into a new deal, you can switch to a better deal on a like for like basis up until two weeks before the new rate starts. Like for like means the same product type (fixed / discount), and the same product term (2yr, 3yr or 5yr).

  • What types of mortgages does the Charter apply to?

    It is available for (first-charge) residential mortgages secured on a borrower’s main home. It does not apply to buy-to-let mortgages.

  • Can I lock in a new deal before my current mortgage deal ends?

    Yes, if you are approaching the end of a mortgage deal you can lock in a new product up to four months in advance. Where you choose to switch to another product, the product switch will take place when your existing product comes to an end.

    If you lock into a new deal, you can switch to a better deal on a like for like basis up until 2 weeks before the new term is due to start, if one is available. Like for like means the same product type (fixed / discount), and the same product term (2yr, 3yr or 5yr).

  • How will I know if a lower rate becomes available before my new deal begins?

    The Mortgage Charter states that borrowers can manage their new deal and request a better like for like deal with their lender right up until 2 weeks before the new term starts, if one is available. Like for like means the same product type (fixed / discount), and the same product term (2yr, 3yr or 5yr).

    You can keep up to date with the latest products by regularly checking our website, or by contacting your Mortgage Adviser.   

  • What should I do if I have concerns about my mortgage or need support?

    If you are facing difficulties with your mortgage payments, we have a range of measures in place to help. We will work with you to find a suitable solution, which may include adjusting the mortgage term, agreeing temporary payment deferrals, or exploring other options based on your specific circumstances.

    If you are struggling with your mortgage, you should speak to a member of our Financial Support Team as soon as possible. You can contact us on 0808 168 8570, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can contact us by email at financialsupport@leekbs.co.uk to discuss the available options.

    Contacting us for support will not have any negative impact on your credit score.

  • What is the impact of on my payments and mortgage balance when switching deal or taking a concession?

    We will make clear to you the potential costs of taking any of the options available to you under the Mortgage Charter before you make your decision.

    If you are switching your deal, you will receive what’s called an ESIS (European Standard Illustration Sheet). If you are considering switching to interest only or extending your term for 6 months, we will provide you with a before and after position for your payments and balance. The illustrations we provide will be indicative, as the Bank of England rate, and therefore our rates, may change in the period.

    If you can afford to pay your mortgage on its current basis, it is in your best interest to do so. This is because you will be charged more in interest over the term of the mortgage by reducing your payments through paying interest only or extending your term.

  • What if I miss a payment during the 6-month concession period?

    If your agreed payments are not made in full each month during the 6-month period, the Mortgage Charter concession ends. This means that to continue on an interest only basis or with the extended term, an affordability assessment will be needed, and the arrangement will be reported to Credit Reference Agencies as normal. We will, of course, continue to provide you support for as long as is appropriate.

  • What happens if I am already in arrears or have a forbearance arrangement in place?

    The Mortgage Charter applies to customers that are currently paying their contractual payment and are up to date. We will continue to support you as long as it is appropriate; however, we will review affordability of any arrangements you have with us, and these arrangements will be reported to Credit Reference Agencies.

  • Is there any protection against repossession under the Mortgage Charter?

    The Mortgage Charter emphasises that repossession is only considered as a last resort or when it is in the borrower's financial interests. Under the Charter, a borrower cannot be forced to leave their home without their consent unless exceptional circumstances arise within a year of their first missed payment.

  • I want to proceed; how can I access the new measures?

    You can access the new measures immediately.

    For a temporary switch to interest only or extension to mortgage term, you can contact our Financial Support Team on 0808 168 8570, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can contact us by email at financialsupport@leekbs.co.uk to discuss the available options.

    To discuss switching to a new mortgage product, you should contact one of our mortgage advisors on 0808 169 6680. You can also email us at mortgagesupport@leekbs.co.uk

    Contacting us for support will not have any negative impact on your credit score.

  • Is there anything else I need to know?

    • If you can afford to repay your mortgage, it is in your interests to do so.
    • Paying reduced payments without our agreement, is not a formal Mortgage Charter arrangement.
    • You should not just fail to pay. This will be counted as a missed payment and will affect your credit report.
    • If you think you will have long term financial difficulties, please contact our Financial Support Team on 0808 168 8570, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can contact us by email at financialsupport@leekbs.co.uk. Please contact us as soon as possible.

Unsure about anything? Just complete your details or call 0800 093 0004

THE MORTGAGED PROPERTY (WHICH COULD BE YOUR HOME) MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.