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mickrick

Being put through the mill by Santander following a cut in wages

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I had a serious motorcycle accident in June and have been out of work sick since.

 

My sick pay expired on 5th November and I went on to Pensionable Rate Of Pay, which is less than half my salary. Part of this is still Statutory Sick Pay, which exhausts in January, so I cant make a claim to Employment and Support Allowance until then. And my wife works too many hours for us to claim Income Support. I have just made a claim for Disability Living Allowance, which I have a good chance of getting given my injuries, but this will take 10 - 12 weeks for a decision to be made.

 

As a result of all this, we know we will not be able to make ends meet as a result. So we have been contacting all our service providers to ask if they can make allowances in the short term. Enter stage left, Santander.

 

We have had a mortgage with them since 1989 (A&L) and this is the first time we have had to contact them for this type of reason. We have never asked for a temporary reduction, or interest only, in our repayments as we have both worked all our adult life.

 

I can't talk to these people, they just get me so angry, so my wife called them from a private room.

 

When she came off the phone, she just sat and cried. They were asking her how much we spent on busfares, the kids lunches, clothing, anything they could think of. When she told them we spent around £800 a month on groceries the girl told her that we couldn't be spending that much as the national upper limit on grocery spend per month is £650. I take it they haven't been shopping lately.

 

She wanted to give my wife the number of a charity to approach for a handout. Just so THEY continue to get THEIR money. I take it the allowances they were told to make to homeowners facing financial hardship just went in one ear and out the other, like everything else they're told to do.

 

The laughable part of all this is that we only have just over a year left on our mortgage and I hope to clear it when I get my injuries claim.

 

Can anyone give us some advice on what we can do, or who to approach, to try and get something sorted out.

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Hello there.

 

How many people does the housekeeping amount cover?

 

As a responsible mortgage lender, Santander have to adhere to strict rules in relation to how they handle your situation. They ARE under an obligation to ascertain your finances by going through a comprehensive financial statement, this should allow them to make suggestions to you in relation to the mortgage. The main rules are called the Mortgage Conduct of Business Rules. The great thing about them is that the onus is squarely on the lender to treat their customers fairly - rather than arriving at a mutual beneficial arrangement. if you feel that communication via the telephone isn't getting you anywhere please consider communicating in writing.

 

This fact sheet on mortgages is REALLY worth a read: http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/england_wales/guide.php?page=guide-mortgage-arrears

 

You'll get lots of help and support here on CAG. There are several of us that are trained and qualified in giving mortgage/debt advice, and many, many more that are very, very well versed in dealing with mortgage lenders and Santander. You're in safe hands :)

 

Hope the DLA comes along soon, for the record you don't have to regard it as income for budgeting purposes as it's used to cover health-related costs.

 

Best wishes,

 

Seq.

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Be careful of using your pensionable sick pay, it will reduce you pension when you retire.

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Please can your or your wife call one of the charities below? You need urgent help with Santander - nobody should be reduced to tears as a result of changing circumstances (although many of us have).

National Debtline.

StepChange.

Citizens Advice.

Click on each one to get their contact details.

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