Homeowners Mortgage Support - What is it?

Posted on 03. Feb, 2010 by glenn in Glenn's Blog

HMS helps people who are having difficulties meeting their mortgage repayments, but are likely to get their finances back on track in the near future.

For example, if you:

  • are relying on one income instead of two
  • can no longer work overtime
  • have had your hours cut
  • had two part-time jobs, but have lost one

If you are accepted for HMS, your lender will delay some of the monthly interest due on your mortgage. This can reduce your payments for up to two years - although the exact length of time you spend on the scheme will depend on your circumstances. The money isn’t written off – you’ll have to pay it back eventually. This is also known as ‘deferring’ your repayments.

Who can get help from Homeowners Mortgage Support

Get advice about HMS

Find contact details for specialist money advisers and check if your lender is offering HMS

To be eligible for HMS, you must have had a temporary drop in income and be unable to meet your monthly mortgage payments. You’ll need to switch to an interest-only mortgage, if you haven’t already. Your lender will also ask you to commit to paying as much as you can afford each month.

Your lender may have other conditions that you’ll need to meet. For example, they may say you should only have a small amount of savings. Talk to your lender about whether you qualify for HMS.

Check if your lender is offering HMS

Not all mortgage lenders are providing HMS. Follow the link below to check whether yours is offering HMS or equivalent support.

Who can’t get help

You won’t qualify for HMS if:

  • your lender isn’t offering HMS or equivalent support
  • you own more than one home
  • your income is unlikely to return to its previous level, perhaps because you have a long-term illness
  • you have insurance that protects your mortgage payments
  • your lender thinks you won’t be able to keep up with your monthly payments, even if they are reduced
  • you are eligible for or are receiving Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

For more information about SMI, follow the link below.

How Homeowners Mortgage Support works

Going ahead with HMS

If you want to go ahead and your lender accepts you for HMS, you:

  • will renegotiate your monthly payments with your lender and agree how much you can afford to pay
  • will have to pay at least 30 per cent of the interest due on your mortgage each month
  • can take advantage of the reduced repayments for up to two years
  • must tell your lender if your financial situation changes at any time
  • will have what you put off paying added to your mortgage balance
  • will have to pay back this money, when you return to making full repayments

Within a year of joining the scheme, you’ll have a review with your lender and an independent adviser. They will look at whether you are still eligible for HMS and if it’s the best option for you.

When you return to making full repayments, you’ll need to agree with your lender how to repay what you owe. This may mean increasing your monthly payments or the length of your mortgage. If your financial situation improves, you can leave the scheme and return to making full repayments at any time.

Case studies

See ‘Homeowners Mortgage Support – case studies’ for examples of how people in different situations are eligible for HMS and how it can help.

Take this information with you to discuss with your lender

The leaflets below cover general information about the benefits and risks of HMS.

More useful links

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