Citizens Advice welcomes Government package to enhance consumer protection in the mortgage market
Citizens Advice Social Policy Officer, Peter Tutton said:
"Citizens Advice welcomes the government's continuing commitment to ensure that people with mortgages, secured loans and sale and rent back agreements are protected against bad practices. We are pleased that the government is acting to close loopholes in the mortgage and sale and rent back rules that otherwise could cause serious detriment to homeowners.
“We also welcome the decision to bring secured loans and first charge mortgages into a single framework of consumer protection. The challenge now will be for the FSA to make sure that the rules for second charge loans build successfully on both the existing FSA rules for mortgages and the safeguards that were provided by the Consumer Credit Act".
The key points of the new package are:
- ·The rules on activities regulated by the Financial Services Authority will be amended to ensure that consumer protection safeguards will apply to a firm buying existing mortgages from a mortgage lender. This means that borrowers whose mortgage is taken over by another firm will continue to be protected by FSA requirements to treat customers fairly and use repossession only as a last resort.
- ·The regulations controlling sale and rent back providers will be amended to ensure that commercial providers cannot use a current exemption for agreements not made 'by way of business' as a way to get round FSA consumer protection rules. In future the exemption will only apply to genuine non-commercial sale and rent back agreements made with a close family member. All providers will have to be authorised by the FSA unless they can relay on another FSA exemption.
- ·The FSA will take over regulation of second charge mortgages, which are currently regulated by the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Credit Act 1974
Notes to editors:
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