People ‘are not seeking debt advice on mortgages’

Individuals should look for financial guidance when they get into trouble with their mortgages, one expert has suggested.

Chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel Adam Phillips told the Council of Mortgage Lenders that debt advice should not be a last resort for consumers.

In a speech made today, he said: “There is an urgent need for more investment in publicising and supporting sources of information and advice in this area.”

According to Mr Phillips, 41 per cent of borrowers neglect to obtain impartial advice on money matters when they start to get behind on their mortgage.

Lenders also have an obligation to support those in arrears under the principle of treating customers fairly and they need to do more in encouraging people to seek independent information, he added.

This comes after Nationwide chief economist Martin Gahbauer stated that while recent figures may indicate some form of market recovery, a number of potential problems still need to be considered, such as the low housing supply levels.

By Francis Finch

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