Treasury Committee: Press Notice

TREASURY COMMITTEE OUTLINES TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR

INQUIRY INTO MORTGAGE ARREARS AND ACCESS TO MORTGAGE FINANCE

Continuing its examination of the ramifications of the banking crisis, the Treasury Committee has decided to undertake a short inquiry into Mortgage arrears and access to mortgage finance. The inquiry will focus on households affected by the recession and struggling with mortgage arrears and/or at risk of repossession, as well as problems in accessing finance for FTBs. Evidence is sought on:

€ the current number of homeowners in mortgage arrears and forecasts for the trend in mortgage arrears over the medium-term

€ the number and characteristics of homeowners who have had their properties repossessed, the number in the process of having their homes repossessed, as well as forecasts for the trend in repossession levels over the medium-term

€ the treatment by, and the approaches taken, by mortgage lenders towards homeowners in arrears and/or at risk of repossession, including issues relating to the treatment of homeowners by financial institutions specialising in mortgage lending to sub-prime borrowers

€ adherence to, and the effectiveness of, Financial Services Authority (FSA) rules and guidance for mortgage lenders on repossession policy and treatment of consumers in arrears as well as the FSA's regulatory approach in this area

€ adherence to, and the effectiveness of, codes of conduct, protocols and statements of good practice issued by industry bodies in this area

€ issues of concern around the operation of sale and lease-back schemes

€ the success of those Government schemes in existence before the financial crisis to support homeowners facing difficulties with mortgage payments and/or at risk of repossession, as well as the effectiveness of initiatives introduced since the financial crisis began; and

€ the impact of the credit crunch on access to mortgage finance and the terms on which such finance is offered for first time homebuyers.

NOTES ON SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format€”not PDF format€”and sent by e-mail to [email protected] The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. The deadline is 12 noon on Wednesday 1 July 2009. Submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. The Committee recognises that this is a tight deadline. Extensions can be granted up to 8 July however respondents should be aware that the Committee will have less time to consider memoranda submitted by this date.

Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon John McFall (Chairman), Nick Ainger, Mr Graham Brady, Mr Colin Breed, Jim Cousins, Mr Michael Fallon (Sub-Committee Chairman), Ms Sally Keeble, Mr Andrew Love, John Mann, Mr George Mudie, John Thurso, Mr Mark Todd, Mr Andrew Tyrie, Sir Peter Viggers.

Media Enquiries: Laura Humble, Tel 020 7219 2003 / 07917 488 489, email - [email protected]

Specific Committee Information: [email protected] Tel 020 7219 5769

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