An inability to meet mortgage payments can be extremely stressful at the best of times, which is why
The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) has urged anyone affected by the bushfires to immediately contact their bank, lender or mortgage broker if they are currently unable to do so.
FBAA managing director Peter White said while people who have sadly lost their properties will automatically be speaking to lenders and their insurers, there are many others whose properties were not touched by fire but have been impacted in other ways.
“Maybe you’ve had to evacuate, maybe you are a small business owner who hasn’t been able to earn an income because your area has been blocked off, or possibly you’ve had to sacrifice your earnings to help others,” Mr White explained.
“Lenders are currently allowing people to momentarily stop their repayments, and while each situation is different, they are listening and helping and working with all borrowers.”
He said borrowers who stop payments without consultation with their bank will risk their credit rating and possibly their property.
“Unless you are in an obvious fire affected area, chances are the bank won’t come knocking on your door because they don’t know who is being impacted and who isn’t.
“It’s up to borrowers to take the first step, and if you financed through a mortgage broker you are welcome to contact them and they will help you.”
Mr White said that brokers who are aware of clients in danger areas are working proactively to help them.
“Finance brokers are part of their local community and we know many of our clients and their families personally, so it’s taken a toll on our members too. We’ve reached out to help brokers who have lost properties themselves or been impacted in various ways.”