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Covid-19 FAQs

For added peace of mind, we thought we’d put together some FAQs which might help to answer your queries or concerns at this difficult time.

COVID-19 Update Updated 29th June

The health and well-being of our colleagues, customers and communities is our priority and following last night’s announcement we’re working hard to ensure we can return to work while keeping everyone safe. 

Mortgage and Protection FAQs

  • Can I still get a mortgage to buy a property? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Recently updated government advice has lifted certain restrictions on the house buying process. If you were in the process or are looking to begin the process of purchasing a property and/or moving home you may now view a property, begin the purchase process and follow this through to conclusion provided that anyone involved in any aspect of the house purchasing process maintains social distancing in line with public health advice and guidelines.

    Lenders are offering mortgage products for customers looking to buy a property and secure a deal. Although some of our high street branches remain closed, Countrywide Mortgages Services can still help provide an “Advice and Recommendation service” to help review your mortgage and protection requirements, all from the comfort of your own home.

    Using the technology that Countrywide already has in place, we can progress the whole mortgage & protection application process over the phone and email. This includes digitally signing all the necessary forms and paperwork*. To get started please email admin@mortgagescountrywide.co.uk and include your contact details and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you back as soon as we can. *A fee will be payable for arranging your mortgage. Your Consultant will confirm the amount before you choose to proceed.

    Updated government advice can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

  • Is a mortgage payment holiday right for me? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The mortgage payment holiday is designed to protect the most vulnerable by alleviating immediate financial pressure and any stress or worries they may have in meeting all their financial commitments and day to day needs.

    If you feel that you may struggle financially, taking the payment holiday (either in full or in part) may be the right thing for you to do and in the first instance you should contact your mortgage lender.

    If, however, you feel you can meet your monthly mortgage payments during this crisis, without it impacting on your everyday needs, then you should strongly consider continuing to pay them. 

    If you have taken or are considering taking a mortgage payment holiday, you must be aware, like any holiday, it must be paid for. For example, at the end of the holiday period your repayments to the end of your mortgage term might be recalculated by the lender to consider repayment of the portion of the outstanding loan payable, plus the interest not repaid during the deferred period.

    This may mean your new repayments are greater than you may have budgeted for and cause you further financial difficulty.

    Taking these practical steps may help you determine if a mortgage payment holiday is right for you.

    • Work out your finances.
      • Write down what money you currently have coming in from all sources, then consider any loss of income you may experience as a result of either being furloughed from your place of work or even losing your job due to the impact the crisis has had on your employer or self- employment opportunities.
    • Work out your outgoings.
      • Write down all your outgoings, prioritising these in order of most need, i.e. food, utilities (water, gas, electric) etc. This may be a good time to review whether payment for some of your non-essential commitments can be suspended or cancelled, for example gym memberships etc.
    • Work out what can you afford.
      • If your outgoings including your mortgage payments are likely to place financial stress on you and your family then you should contact your mortgage lender immediately to discuss your payment holiday options.

    It is important that you do not simply cancel your Direct Debit mandate as this may be counted as a missed payment and you will likely be charged by your bank. Your lender will suspend taking payments from your account once they have confirmed you are eligible for and the terms of your holiday have been agreed.

    You have until the 31st October to apply for a payment holiday however this date may be extended further should the crisis continue beyond this.

    Remember; If you can afford to pay any amount toward your monthly mortgage payments without affecting your ability to meet your priority needs, then we recommend you try to do so.

  • Contact details for your mortgage lender. Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

     

    Lender

    Contact details

    Barclays

    https://www.barclays.co.uk/mortgages/

    BM Solutions

    0345 850 5000

     https://secure.lloydsbank.com/

    Coventry Building Society

    0800 121 8899

    https://www.coventrybuildingsociety.co.uk/

    Halifax

    https://www.halifax.co.uk/mortgages/existing-customers/payment-holidays/?WT.ac=PaymentHoliday

    HSBC

    https://www.hsbc.co.uk/help/coronavirus/

    Leeds

    https://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/coronavirus-information/

    Nationwide

    https://www.nationwide.co.uk/support/coronavirus/mortgage-payment-holiday

    NatWest

    https://personal.natwest.com/

    Platform

    https://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/news/2020/coronavirus-support-personal-customers

    Precise

    https://www.precisemortgages.co.uk/

    Santander

    https://www.santander.co.uk/personal/coronavirus?icid=php-Hero-Coronavirus-0320

    Scottish Widows Bank

    0345 845 0829

    The Mortgage Works

    https://www.themortgageworks.co.uk/payment-holidays

    Virgin Money

    https://uk.virginmoney.com/contact/support-hub/coronavirus/

     

  • I have taken an initial 3-month payment holiday, but I know that I won’t be able to start paying my mortgage payments again when this period ends, what should I do? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The government and the FCA have said lenders should continue to support any customer who has already had a payment holiday but need further help.

    As your current payment holiday nears its end, your mortgage lender should contact you to discuss your options. This may be that they offer an extension to the holiday period or work out with you a way for you to begin repaying some of your monthly payment amount to offset the interest accruing and lessen the impact of increased payments at the end of the extended term or when you can afford to begin repaying your monthly payments in full.

    Your mortgage lender may also suggest transferring your current arrangements to an alternative fixed or reduced rate deal.  If this is their suggestion, it may be advisable to seek further advice from a Countrywide Mortgage and Protection Consultant.  Here at Countrywide we are able to consider a wide range of mortgage products from across the market place and may be able to find a better rate or product with an alternative lender, which may be more suitable for your current and future needs.

    We do however agree that  where you can meet some or all of your mortgage payments, you should begin to do so as soon as you can. This is providing of course that you can meet your day to day needs for you and your family and not overstretch yourself and missing a mortgage payment, as this may count as a payment default, again leading to you possibly being charged. Where possible, avoid using an overdraft facility to meet your payments as this could lead to future financial problems.

  • Can my lender repossess my home if I am unable to make any or all of my payments when the payment holiday ends?’ Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The government has placed a ban on mortgage lenders repossessing homes during the period of the pandemic, and this will continue to 31st October 2020. This is being reviewed constantly as the full impact of the crisis unfolds.

    If you are worried about money, relying on credit cards and overdrafts to pay your bills, or you are regularly missing payments due, please seek advice from a specialist debt agency.

    Talking  through financial issues with a debt adviser can help. 

    Please find below some suggested sources of debt management advice:

    Citizens Advice - http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

    StepChange Debt Charity - http://www.stepchange.org/

    National Debtline - https://debtadvisoryhelpline.co.uk/national-debtlines/

    Money Advice Service - https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/

  • Will my ability to access credit, obtain a mortgage/re-mortgage be affected if I take or extend a payment holiday? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    The government and the FCA have instructed financial institutions that any payment holiday, either full or in part should not impact an individual’s credit file however as lenders can use other sources to assess your creditworthiness it cannot be guaranteed that your access to credit will be unaffected.  This is why it may be in your interest to only take out or extend a payment holiday if there is no other alternative for you.

  • Can I still remortgage as my current interest rate is coming to an end? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Lenders have reduced the number of mortgage products they have available as well as reducing the higher Loan to Value deals. However, following the recent Bank of England base rate cuts many lenders are still offering low remortgage rates for customers looking to reduce their monthly mortgage payments.

    Countrywide Mortgages Services can still help provide an “Advice and Recommendation service” and using the technology that is already in place, we can progress the whole remortgage application process over the phone and email. This includes digitally signing all the necessary forms and paperwork*.

    To get started please email admin@mortgagescountrywide.co.uk and include your contact details and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you back as soon as we can.

    *A fee will be payable for arranging your mortgage. Your Consultant will confirm the amount before you choose to proceed.

  • How do I get in touch with my Mortgage and Protection Consultant if the branch is closed? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you have been liaising directly with your Mortgage Consultant then please continue to do so using the email or telephone number that they have supplied to you.

    We have set up a central email address for all new enquires and this is monitored regularly. Please email admin@mortgagescountrywide.co.uk and include your contact details and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you back as soon as we can.

  • How do I make a claim on my AXA or AVIVA policy that I arranged through Countrywide? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    If you have to make a claim or have a query on either your household or personal protection policies, in the first instance please refer to your policy document which will highlight all the main helpline numbers.

    We have however listed all of the main contact numbers for both AXA and AVIVA below.

    Please do not cancel a policy without first speaking to us, as your valuable protection will no longer apply. If you wish to change or adjust any of your policies, or you wish to take additional cover then please contact us at admin@mortgagescountrywide.co.uk and include your contact details and we will arrange for a member of our team to call you back as soon as we can.

    AXA:

    AXA Claim - Homeowner

    Contact

    Buildings, Contents, Personal Possessions and Pedal Cycles

    0345 521 3905

    Domestic Helpline and Home Emergency

    0330 058 1638

    Legal Helpline and Legal Expenses

    0330 058 1641

     

    AXA Claim - Landlord

    Contact

    Buildings, Landlord’s Contents and Carpets, Curtains and White Goods

    0345 521 3905

    Domestic Helpline and Home Emergency

    0330 058 1639

    Legal Helpline and Legal Expenses

    0330 058 1643

     

    AXA Claim - Tenant

    Contact

    Contents, Personal Possessions and Pedal Cycles

    0345 521 3905

    Legal Helpline and Legal Expenses

    0330 058 1642


    AVIVA:

    Personal Protection

    Contact

    Changing details, making a claim or ask a question

    Aviva Contact Us

    Manage your existing policy

    Aviva My Account

     

  • Can I defer my insurance/protection payments? Chevron Down IconIcon set Chevron Down

    Yes customers who are struggling financially due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) can now defer premiums for up to 3 months whilst retaining their important benefits and levels of cover.*

    If you would like to apply to defer your payments then in the first instance please use the contact details below;

    AVIVA  Protection policies

    Apply using either their website or contact  AVIVA direct on 0800 2851 098

    AXA insurance policies

    Apply by contacting Countrywide Insurance Services on 01908 961399

    * Please note that Terms and conditions apply and the scheme is currently available until 18 August 2020 .

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