Mortgage insurer QBE LMI has devised a new Home Ownership Preservation program to help lenders provide assistance to homeowners experiencing financial hardship.
Under the new program QBE LMI will work with over 20 lenders to explore all options available to alleviate strain on mortgage repayments for borrowers on a case-by-case basis.
Assessments will be based on the ability of the borrower to meet contractual obligations in the long-term.
The launch of QBE LMI’s Preservation Team coincides with news that the federal government will make it easier for households to seek hardship relief from mortgage repayments as forecasts for unemployment continue to deteriorate.
Under the new National Consumer Credit Protection Bill 2009, to be officially released today, homeowners with mortgages of up to $500,000 will be legally eligible to request changes to the terms of their home loan.
This compares to a current threshold of just over $300,000.
Borrowers will also have access to free legal representation through the Financial Ombudsman Service if their lender declines their request for assistance and they wish to challenge the decision.
The new measures are expected to be implemented on November 1 this year and come after the federal treasurer last week warned that job losses will rise. The unemployment rate could well pass the 10 per cent mark, Mr Swan conceded.
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