Who Watched Repossessed Last Night On BBC1?

Broadcast: BBC 1, Tuesday, January 6th, 2009. 10:30pm (I think it was a repeat, not entirely sure).

The TV guide describes it as the following:

Powerful documentary about three families battling to save their homes from repossession as the housing crisis tightens its grip. With 50,000 homes having been repossessed in the past year, some experts predict that as many as half a million more may be at risk as families struggle to meet their mortgage payments.

What a pile of shit. That’s not what it was about at all. It was about 3 families that made 3 very distinct mistakes, as opposed to the tough market taking its toll.

Here are the 3 cases:

  • Family 1: remortgaged several times to renovate their home. They initially only had a 40k mortgage, and after several equity releases, they ended up with a 150k mortgage with multiple lenders.
  • Family 2: They had bad credit history so was only able to get a 11% mortgage deal (the guy was a mortgage broker as well)
  • Family 3: they didn’t understand that once the fixed rate period ends, they’ll have to pay a higher standard variable rate- apparently that was the lender’s fault. The guy was also angry that their lender was rubbish because they wanted to repossess after 3 months of arrears. Oddly, this guy confessed that he spent most of his time fighting and messing around at school, consequently couldn’t read and write all that well. Great.

3 very extreme cases of stupidity, as opposed to economic conditions, right? The strangest part about it all was that none of the families took blame, they all passed the buck onto the “mean” lenders.

Don’t get me wrong, I felt sorry for the families because regardless of their mistakes, they were all families involving young children, which were losing their homes. Essentially, they weren’t “bad” people, they were just people that made very stupid decisions.

I just thought the production was lousy and misleading, and the “careful” screening process the producers did was obviously extremely inaccurate to the description of the documentary.

Anyone watch it? Your thoughts.

For those who missed it, I highly recommend watching it, so you can bitch about it with me. It’s available to watch on the BBC website.

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7 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Justin Burns 7th January, 2009 @ 16:01

I never saw the show but I think your being a little harsh on family number 1. The lender has to take some responsibility for this as they would have encouraged the equity withdrawal - probably by way of regular letters to the borrower - as the 'value' of the property increased. I can see how a homeowner would be tempted by a nice new extension in return for a small increase in their monthly payments.

For years lenders have behaved like the market would just keep on rising.

I would agree though that it was probably a bad idea to go with multiple lenders.

1
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 7th January, 2009 @ 16:08

Hey Justin,

I understand what you're saying, but I personally believe the responsibility should be on the borrower, and not the lender. The lenders did exactly what their job- lend.

I'm sure the borrowers knew the risks of releasing equity, but they just assumed house prices would go one way- up, up and up!

As a borrower, I wouldn't release THAT much equity- increasing their mortgage from 40k to 150k. That's asking for trouble.

Lenders don't just randomly send letters to homeowners advising random people to release equity. Something like that gets instigated...so I'm under the impression the borrower did all the leg work.

Kind regards.

2
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houseofcards 8th January, 2009 @ 11:58

Its a hard one to call because lenders obviously make profits on much they give out and the general public will be tempted when carrots are hung in front of them.

Yes the family was stupid and there is no doubt that anyone releasing equity to fund a lifestyle is a complete retard, but perhaps these are the people that must be protected.

3
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 8th January, 2009 @ 14:11

Yeah, I agree. It's a tough one to call.

I'm usually on the side of the lender, because as mentioned, lenders only do their job- lend.

Beyond lending, is it their job to protect borrowers, or should borrowers be responsible for themselves?

I personally don't expect lenders to protect me. If I borrowed a certain amount, and agreed to repay, I wouldn't blame anyone but myself if I failed to make those payments. I certainly wouldn't blame the lenders for wanting their money.

I'm not sure if i'm being an ass or not on this issue.

4
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GillsMan 8th January, 2009 @ 20:02

I liked it when the Welsh woman, talking about her home, said "it's not just bricks and water". Well no, it's bricks and mortar, idiot.

5
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 9th January, 2009 @ 08:55

At first I thought she said "water", but I assumed I misheard, and she actually said "mortar"! haha. I guess I heard right the first time.

6
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Sharon Coleman 12th January, 2009 @ 21:10

I saw that programme and how what a load of crap. I agree, it was not based on current market conditions rather peole making bad choices but lenders borrowing to people who the should not be lending to, in my opinion.

I blame the media in this "down turn" who seem set on scaring the public rather then trying to be positive.

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