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Rock loan error throws hundreds into arrears

Hundreds of Northern Rock customers have been plunged into mortgage arrears after the company failed to set up direct debits.

Rock is writing to customers telling them of the arrears and demanding imm-ediate payments.

The problem appears to have arisen last November with the onset of mortgage regulation. Brokers say they voiced their concerns to Rock but their complaints fell on deaf ears.

My Mortgage Direct director Cath Hearnden says she called Rock on several occasions to tell them that directdebit payments were not being taken out of her client’s acc-ount but she was reassured that the situation would be sor-ted out soon. She says her client has since had a payment demand from Rock.

Purely Mortgages chief executive Mark Chilton says he had a similar problem last November but this was res-olved when he pressurised Rock to deal with the issue.

One firm which does not want to be named says it has had 12 complaints in two days from clients over the matter. The firm is looking at all its Rock applications since Nov-ember to see how many clients are affected.

But Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Chris Cummings is telling intermediaries that clients have as much responsibility as lenders to check that payments are being made.

Mortgage Portfolio Services mortgage planner Simon Chalk says his firm no longer uses Rock because of its admin and products. He says: “Their main-stream market products do not figure and their admin is dire. We have blacklisted them.”

Northern Rock PR man-ager Jacqueline Purcell says: “Thank you for bringing it to our attention and we are putting every effort into looking into it.”

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