Government helps out mortgage strugglers

Posted: 07 Jan 2009 08:53:25 GMT

            Property News - Government helps out mortgage strugglers

The government has announced that it is doubling the threshold for qualification for income support for mortgage interest (ISMI), meaning thousands more people who have lost their jobs will become eligible.

Work and pensions secretary James Purnell explained to the Guardian that the move was made as quickly as possible in order to avoid repossessions.

"We have changed the rules to make sure even more people can get help with their mortgage payments if they lose their job," he said.

"Every time someone loses their job it is a personal tragedy. But we will do everything we can to give people the real help they need.

"That is why we will give financial help towards mortgage payments for someone while they are looking for a job."

The payments average around £40 per week and are aimed at helping to pay interest on mortgages to stop it piling up while a homeowner is out of work.

Ultimately, without any payments for a sustained period of time, a home will be repossessed - a situation which the government hopes the ISMI scheme will help avoid.

While the threshold was previously set at £100,000, those with mortgages up to £200,000 will now be able to apply for assistance.

Gross mortgage lending in November reached £14.5 billion, according to the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

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