Families 'face losing homes when fixed-rate mortgages end'

Date:Wednesday 10th June 2009
Author: Max Freedman

Thousands of families in the UK face the prospect of losing their homes when their current fixed-rate mortgages come to an end, it has been claimed.

According to Chris Jenkins, co-owner of the Homeowners Advice Centre, some sub-prime borrowers have "limited" options due to the threat of negative equity.

He said: "Selling is not an option due to the peril of negative equity and even if people were to hand their keys back to the lender, if the property is sold for less than you owe then the lenders can pursue the borrowers for this difference."

However, he added that families would not be made homeless "overnight" and they should seek advice from their lenders as quickly as possible if they anticipate problems in the future.

Figures produced recently by YouGov on behalf of Shelter suggested that 160,000 families polled were struggling or falling behind with their mortgage repayments.