A homeowner who could face losing his property because rising mortgage costs will exceed his profit allowance fears a “bloodbath” of repossessions.
Nicholas Wilson, from Hastings, East Sussex, could face losing his home after struggling to meet his mortgage payments, which he says have almost doubled since February.
The 65-year-old, who is awaiting a diagnosis for suspected cancer, said it was “impossible to even contemplate” the stress of losing his home and warned of the impact on mental health of mortgage holders amid rising costs.
“There will be suicides as for some people, this will be the only way out,” he told the PA news agency.
“I’m not threatening myself, but the idea of packing up my things to sell my house in these circumstances is horrible.
“I have been suffering from depression for a long time and it is impossible for me to even think about losing my home.
“Trying to find a place to rent as someone on benefits, and then someone potentially undergoing treatment for cancer, I can’t think about it.”
Wilson has been pursuing HSBC for nearly 20 years over what it claims were excessive payments to customers whose accounts were in arrears, The Guardian reported in 2021.
The bank set up two compensation plans during that time to address “a historic issue” that resulted in large numbers of people receiving unexpected payments, but HSBC maintained that this was unrelated to Wilson’s campaign.
Wilson previously worked in the legal sector but has struggled to find work after blowing the whistle.
The self-proclaimed anti-corruption campaigner said donations from Twitter followers, of which he has more than 50,000, have helped him fight the threat of repossession on three occasions.
Mr Wilson, who has owned his home since 2008, currently receives Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because he is unable to work.
In February this year, Mr Wilson’s mortgage rate was 4.29% with payments of £484.19, of which he paid £271.17 and received £213.02 through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
From October, your mortgage rate will be 5.74% and you will have to make payments of £652.29, which means you will have to pay almost double.
“After the DWP payment, I will need to find £439.27 towards my mortgage in October, but this amount is more than my monthly benefit (ESA) of £397.71,” said Wilson.
“My pension, which I will pay next March, will be more than double the amount of the benefits I am currently receiving, but I will no longer receive mortgage assistance.
“If I get a part-time job next year, I could keep my mortgage.”
Days of chaos in financial markets and fears of rising mortgage bills were sparked by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget last week.
There have been recent suggestions that the Bank of England may need to raise interest rates to 6%.
Meanwhile, as the government looks to cut spending, neither the Chancellor nor Treasury Secretary Chris Philp confirmed whether benefits will rise in line with spiraling inflation.
In May this year, the then chancellor Rishi Sunak said benefits would be increased by this September’s consumer price index (CPI), subject to a review by the Work and Pensions Secretary.
Leading charity figures have warned of the impact if the government does not stand by Sunak’s statement.
Wilson said the government’s response had been “tragic” and added that it would not just be those on benefits who would struggle with their payments.
“The only people that won’t be affected will be the millionaires,” he said.
“I think it’s tragic, but the Government won’t do anything about it.
“Everyone who doesn’t have a fixed mortgage or whose fixed mortgage is coming to an end shortly will face it.
“There will be so many recoveries, it will be a bloodbath.
“For me it is not an asset, it is my home and I love it.
“It’s been a struggle for many years, but obviously if I can’t afford it, then I’ll have to sell it.”
You can find mental health support by calling the Samaritans free of charge at any time on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Samaritans.org.