July 2010: Interest only mortgages (including those that have a specified repayment vehicle attached to them) are under threat. Lenders are restricting the maximum loan to value percentages to 75% in many cases, effectively forcing first time buyers to arrange capital and interest loans to ensure that the debt is repaid within the mortgage term.

If you currently have an interest only mortgage you would be wise to seek professional advice NOW.

August 2010: The FSA has said that it wants lenders to take more responsibility for assessing borrowers ability to afford a new mortgage. This means that full evidence of income may be requested by the lenders and not just the intermediary before a mortgage offer is issued. Self certification and fast track mortgages (with reduced evidence of income) have already disappeared from the market, increasing the need for the public to seek professional mortgage advice for their future needs.

August 2010: Consumer rights. A new guide has been published to help you understand your rights when buying goods or services.
Make a note of this link and add it to your favourites.

March 2011: The European Court of Justice has decreed that the UK can no longer offer life assurance to women at lower rates than they do to men. Accordingly, the cost of a new life assurance policy for women of all ages is set to increase (and the same goes for their motor insurance cover). Once a policy starts the cost is fixed - it does not go down again and so consideration should be given to arranging life cover NOW to avoid the increased costs.

March 2011: Friends Life is a new company that brings together the UK operations of Friends Provident and the life assurance businesses acquired from BUPA and AXA UK. Any existing policies with these companies are not affected by the name change

June 2011: Government launches Firstbuy to help first time buyers. Purchasers only need a 5% deposit. Add to this a 20% equity loan from a participating builder and the mortgage will be for 75% of the price - attracting a low interest rate. More than 100 UK builders will take part in the schemee and more than 10,000 buyers will be helped. For full details please contact us now.

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The Looker Romney Marsh Newspaper