Time’s up: Banks begin contacting deferred mortgage holders

Over half of the 900,000 loans that were deferred in Australia will be assessed in the coming weeks, as the six-month ‘mortgage holiday’ period comes to an end.

According to the Australian Banking Association, banks have already started contacting customers to “discuss the next stage of support and assistance”.

Among these, 260,000 deferred mortgages will be assessed before the end of this month, with a further 180,000 by the end of October.

“The loan deferral measure offered to customers by Australia’s banks has led to the largest ever customer contact process in the industry’s history,” said ABA CEO Anna Bligh, “with an additional 5000 new or redeployed staff working to ensure customers understand their options.”

Their options include resuming repayments; restructuring their mortgages (including converting to interest only payments for a period of time); or being granted an extra four month deferral – which will be at the bank’s discretion.

Those unable to pay even in the long term will receive “tailored assistance that addresses their needs”.

“Customers know what’s best for them,” Ms Bligh said.

“It’s the bank’s job to set out all the options and implications and ensure customers have the information and the time to make the right decision to suit their needs.”

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