ASIC offers advice for those behind on mortgage payments

ASIC is encouraging all mortgage holders to perform an online check on the health of their mortgage. 

The corporate watchdog’s mortgage health check tool is available on its consumer finance site, www.moneysmart.gov.au

It asks consumers four questions about their credit card commitments, attitude to their mortgage, repayment history and how they would react if interest rates increased. 

Based on the results, borrowers are provided with links to mortgage calculators, budget planning tools and videos about what to do if you they receiving letters from lenders about missed mortgage payments. 

It also provides sample letters for people to send their lenders if they are in financial hardship and video clips explaining how financial counsellors and legal services can help. 

The launch of the mortgage health check tool is part of what ASIC’s Mortgage Health Month

Delia Rickard ASIC’s head of financial literacy, says financial issues are often triggered by a change in circumstances such as illness, losing employment or divorce.

‘We know a small number of Australians are in arrears on their mortgage. However, many more struggle to make their mortgage repayments on time, and can only do so by running up other debt. We want to educate people about the signs of mortgage stress and motivate them to take early action.”

“If there are signs you may have trouble with your mortgage, take action straight away to get back on track. If you don't feel in control of your money then use the MoneySmart budget planner. If you are in danger of missing a mortgage repayment, speak to your lender about changing your repayments or your loan term.

ASIC will hold events in specific geographical areas where the rate of mortgage stress is high. 

It will partner with local services and organisation in Fairfield and Liverpool in NSW, the Mandurah region in Western Australia and in Logan and the Gold Coast in Queensland to provide and promote specialised assistance to people at risk or experiencing mortgage stress.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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