Last week I bit the bullet and joined several thousand other homeowners in calling my mortgage lender and asking for a payment holiday. I am self-employed and a company sitting on a large invoice of mine had folded, so we thought a month’s breathing space would help us. It wasn’t a prospect I relished but I figured that, after all, they could only say no. And sure enough they did.
It was the grounds of refusal that was the most galling part. We bought the house five years ago with a 5% deposit which, at the time, I didn’t consider a particularly risky strategy. But according to the bank our loan-to-value (the proportion of the house with a mortgage secured against it) has now risen to 103% and payment holidays will only be considered at 90%.
Like many other homeowners, being in negative equity was not part of our plan this summer. But unlike many others, three years ago we entered into an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) as a result of a failed business. This me…