Freeze the mortgage

What a difference a week makes.

Last week I was topping up my LS 80/20 stocks and shares fund (ISA) and now thoughts of my FI have been pushed to the back of my mind.

I have read snippets about finance markets. The effects of lowering interest rates. How much money will be pumped into the economy by the state and how we will recover financially.

The economy pales into insignificance when people’s lives are at risk. I am genuinely worried about my family and friends. I am worried about the UK and I am worried about the World. Seeing people suffer is horrendous as there is nothing but BAD news to read.

Normally I don’t read the news as it always negative and puts me in a bad mood but the last week or 2 I have been reading as the current situation is consuming everyone around me.

With all that has been going on my anxiety and OCD are through the roof. What we have to do is to take one day at a time. We have to look after ourselves. Eat healthy, exercise and try to stay positive. If we look after ourselves we can then look after those around us. Especially the most vulnerable of us who are going to need our help and support.

As a landlord I have a responsibility to look after the interests of my tenants and that is what I will try and do. My stance is that if they are out of work, I will freeze the rent payments for 3 months.

Looking at my 4 rentals I have 2 of the tenants that need support at this stage. They are out of work and will not be paying rent for 3 months. One of my tenants get their rent paid via DSS so that rent will continue. The 4th tenant is still working so I am in touch with them and am monitoring their situation closely.

The next question is whether I can get the mortgage companies to freeze the mortgage payments. I don’t see it being an issue as I have already received e-mails from mortgage companies offering their support. The problem is that I can’t get through to them.

Getting through to them on-line hasn’t been possible as I am out of the country and I have had issues when trying to access my on-line accounts. Mrs Duffy stepped in and was able to access the mortgages on-line. Then she had to apply for a mortgage holiday so we will find out in the next few days.

Personally, I might be out of work from next week so at that point I will also have to apply for a mortgage holiday for the house we live in.

If I am out of work, it is really time to look at trimming the budget. My plan is to freeze my mortgage payments and also to temporarily stop paying into my fund.

I am not worried about the stock market long term and won’t be selling what I have in my ISA (not yet anyway) but have got to keep my expenses as low as possible. With all the uncertainty, it really is anyone’s guess as to when we will get passed the effects of COVID 19.

We all have to listen to government advice and do our best to stop COVID 19. We all have our ways of dealing with things but if we can stay healthy and positive, we can help the people around us.

Take care.

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