Homeowner fears repossession ‘bloodbath’ as mortgage set to outgrow benefits

A homeowner who could face losing his property because rising mortgage costs will outweigh his benefits fears a “bloodbath” from foreclosures.

Icholas Wilson, from Hastings, East Sussex, could face losing his home after struggling to make his mortgage payments, which he says have nearly doubled since February.

The 65-year-old, who is awaiting a diagnosis of suspected cancer, said it was “impossible to even contemplate” the stress of losing your home and warned of the psychological impact on mortgage holders amid rising costs.

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Nicholas Wilson, 65, could face losing his home after struggling to afford his mortgage payments, which have nearly doubled since February (Nicholas Wilson/PA)

“There will be suicides, which will be the only way out for some people,” he told the PA news agency.

“I’m not threatening myself, but the thought of packing to sell my house in these circumstances is just terrifying.

“I’ve been afflicted with depression for a long time and it’s just impossible for me to even think about losing my home.

“I’m trying to find a place to rent on welfare and then maybe someone who’s undergoing cancer treatment, I just can’t think of that.”

Mr Wilson has been prosecuting HSBC for almost 20 years over alleged overpayments to customers whose accounts were in arrears, the Guardian reported in 2021.

The bank set up two compensation schemes during this period to address “a historic problem” that caused a large number of people to receive unexpected payments, but HSBC claimed this had nothing to do with Mr Wilson’s campaign.

Mr Wilson used to work in the legal sector but had trouble finding work after blowing the whistle.

The self-proclaimed anti-corruption activist said donations from Twitter followers – of whom he has more than 50,000 – helped him stave off threats of attachment on three occasions.

Mr Wilson, who has owned his home since 2008, is currently on an Employment Assistance Allowance (ESA) due to his disability.

In February this year Mr Wilson’s mortgage rate was 4.29% with payments of £484.19 of which he paid £271.17 and received £213.02 through the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).

As of October his mortgage rate is 5.74% and he has payments of £652.29 to make – meaning he has to pay almost double that.

“Following the DWP payment, I have £439.27 to put down on my mortgage in October, but that amount is greater than my monthly benefit (ESA) of £397.71,” Wilson said.

“My pension, which is due next March, will be more than double what I am currently receiving, but I will no longer receive mortgage assistance.

“If I find a part-time job next year, maybe I can keep my mortgage going.”

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Nicholas Wilson, who is awaiting a prognosis on suspicion of cancer, said it was “impossible to even contemplate” the stress of losing your home. (Nicholas Wilson/PA)

Days of chaos in the financial markets and fears of skyrocketing mortgage bills were sparked last week by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.

There have recently been suggestions that the Bank of England might hike interest rates as high as 6%.

As the government seeks to cut spending, neither Chancellor nor Treasury Secretary Chris Philp confirmed whether benefits will be increased in line with rising inflation.

In May this year, then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak said benefits would be increased by this September’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), subject to a review by the Labor and Pensions Minister.

Leading figures at the charity have warned of the repercussions if the government fails to comply with Mr Sunak’s statement.

There will be so many withdrawals, there will be a bloodbathNicolas Wilson

Mr Wilson said the government’s response has been “tragic”, adding it’s not just beneficiaries who will struggle with their payments.

“The only people who won’t be affected will be the millionaires,” he said.

“I just think it’s tragic, but the government won’t do anything about it.

“Anyone who does not have a fixed-rate mortgage or whose fixed-rate mortgage is about to expire will fight back.

“There will be so many withdrawals, there will be a bloodbath.

“It’s not an asset to me, it’s my home and I love it.

“It’s been a struggle for many years but if I can’t pay for it then of course I have to sell it.”

For mental health support, call the Samaritans toll-free anytime on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, or visit Samaritans.org.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/homeowner-fears-repossession-bloodbath-as-mortgage-set-to-outgrow-benefits-42031672.html Homeowner fears repossession ‘bloodbath’ as mortgage set to outgrow benefits

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