Advertising: ‘Mortgage prisoner’ on brink of homelessness

Lawyers say so called ‘mortgage prisoners’ may be entitled to compensationLawyers say so called ‘mortgage prisoners’ may be entitled to compensation
Lawyers say so called ‘mortgage prisoners’ may be entitled to compensation
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Mother of triplets, Dawn McIntosh (59), says she is in dire financial straits, trapped on rising repayment rates without the ability to re-mortgage.

She bought a family home in 2004, with a fixed-rate Northern Rock mortgage but the impending global financial crisis would spell trouble for Dawn and her young family.

Northern Rock collapsed in 2008 affecting mortgages taken out by thousands of people. Now, hundreds are planning a legal case against mortgage provider Whistletree, hoping to win back interest paid on their mortgages.

Dawn said: “Raising triplets on my own, running the house and working at the same time was extremely hard work. You need to run things with military precision, but we were managing.”

In 2014 her fixed term mortgage ended and repayment rates jumped, leaving the family struggling to make ends meet. Dawn claims to have repeatedly asked for a new mortgage but was refused.

“I called Whistletree to ask if I could be put on a more manageable interest rate, but I was basically told I couldn’t afford to pay less – it was absolute madness. The man on the phone said: ‘just sell the house’. That’s the home I’d worked so hard to keep, raise my children in and I was facing the prospect of losing everything,” she said.

To make matters worse, Dawn suffered a serious fall in 2016 , leaving her permanently disabled and unable to work – pushing her to a financial brink.

She claims the bank put her under pressure to sell the house if she couldn’t afford the existing mortgage terms.

“But I was determined not to lose our home. So, I’ve had to go without so many things – it’s been a soul-destroying experience,” said Dawn.

She added: “I thought I was the only one in this situation. I now know the bank was doing this to many others. I think they need to be held to account and shown their actions have real-life consequences for people.”

Dawn is not alone, says her lawyers, with thousands of so called ‘mortgage prisoners’ in similar situations and unable to remortgage with another bank. Lawyers at Harcus Parker are launching a legal claim to recover compensation.

According to law firm Harcus Parker, there is a chance that some of these people, who moved on to a Whistletree mortgage after the collapse, may be entitled to money back. The law firm claims that Whistletree mortgages were charged a much higher standard variable rate than other borrowers.

A TSB spokesperson said: “We are committed to treating our Whistletree customers fairly. TSB took ownership of the Whistletree mortgages in 2016 and subsequently created access to product transfers for customers who did not previously have access to them. Since then, over two-thirds of Whistletree customers have either transferred to a new Whistletree product or closed their mortgage with Whistletree. We write to customers twice a year to remind them about the opportunity to switch.”

Hear more of Dawn’s story on YouTube. To find out more and join the claim, visit or search ‘Harcus Parker Mortgage Prisoners’.