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8 September, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that it has no plans to amend qualifying period for Support for Mortgage Interest in response to coronavirus outbreak

Home owners struggling with mortgage repayments should 'contact their lender as soon as possible', says Employment Minister

Employment Minister Mims Davies has confirmed that the DWP has no plans to amend the current 39 week qualifying period for Support for Mortgage Interest in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Responding yesterday to a written question in parliament, Ms Davies said -

'The Department has no plans to amend the qualifying period for Support for Mortgage Interest.

Home owners struggling with mortgage repayments because of COVID-19 should contact their lender as soon as possible to discuss what support might be available.'

NB - commenting on draft Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance for mortgage lenders on 26 August 2020, Money Advice Trust Director of External Affairs Jane Tully said that there was a limit to what the FCA and lenders can do to prevent repossessions, and that the government should 'step up' to close gaps in the mortgage safety net, for example by -

'... reforming the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme - including reducing the 39 week wait for payments to 13 weeks, and increasing the £200,000 mortgage cap that was set 11 years ago and has not been updated since.'

Ms Davies' written answer is available from parliament.uk