Moneywise helps a reader who wanted to extend their mortgage
We wrote to you last August about my 90-year-old mother’s problems with her Barclays interest-only mortgage after she suddenly got a letter demanding she repay it in April 2019. She simply wanted to extend the mortgage as she can still afford it – her circumstances hadn’t changed and she wants to remain in her own home. The only way to repay the loan was to sell her home, which would be distressing and create problems about finding somewhere suitable to live. We had lots of trouble getting any sense out of Barclays but once you intervened they started listening and eventually gave Mum a 10-year stay of action, which put all our minds at rest. We are all delighted that Mum is secure in her home and would like to think that we have made the process a lot easier for those who find themselves in a similar position.
Barclays offered to send Mum a hamper and, as a goodwill token, a cheque for £250 for the distress caused. We feel aggrieved that it took up so much of our time to get things sorted and also feel that the mortgage was mis-sold in the first place. But should we simply ignore the mis-selling and other problems and accept Barclays’ offer? The mortgage offer seems to be pretty much what we originally asked for, which Barclays said it initially couldn’t do. Why did it put us all through so much stress?
Regular readers will remember me writing about this problem, so it’s great to report that Barclays did see sense and extend the mortgage for another decade.
The bank told me: “We apologise to Mrs F and her family for the distress and inconvenience caused as we’ve taken the time to properly investigate and fix this case. We have worked closely with the family to agree an extension that will allow Mrs F to stay in her property beyond the agreed term of the mortgage and at no increased monthly cost.”
This is a great result and hopefully the bank will rethink its approach to other older people who find themselves in the same position.
EF told me: “It has been very stressful and time-consuming dealing with Barclays and we feel your involvement has definitely assisted greatly. The bank has assured me that it will be putting measures in place to prevent others finding themselves in a similar position, which is great.”
But what about the bank’s £250 goodwill gesture? Of course, you feel aggrieved about the lengths you had to go through to get the right result but I would move on now and accept the offer. It’s a gesture, not compensation. Take the cash and use it to celebrate your mum getting peace of mind about her home.
OUTCOME: Mortgage extended, plus £250 goodwill gesture