Banks demand mortgages from Riot victims
yes...those people who had their flats distroyed by fire from the looting...and whose houses dont exist anymore...the British Banks are still demanding they pay their mortgages
Britain's banking giants were slammed yesterday for refusing to help the innocent victims of the riots.
For many, the iconic image of the violence was the burning Carpetright building in Tottenham, North London, and the flats above the shop.
But it emerged yesterday that residents whose homes were gutted in the blaze are still being forced to pay their mortgage.
Wrecked: The burnt out shell of Tottenham's Carpetright building. Residents of the flats above have been denied a break in mortgage payments
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Mail, the housing association's chief executive said he is 'livid' and 'appalled by' the banks' behaviour.
Bill Payne, 56, said: 'The country came to the assistance of the banks when the industry was collapsing. It does not leave a pleasant taste in the mouth that they won't come to our help now.
'I think their behaviour is hard-nosed, insensitive and immoral.'
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One victim, who has lost everything, said she is 'disgusted' by the way she has been treated by her bank.
Mr Payne runs Metropolitan Housing Partnership, which operates the 26 shared ownership flats in the block.
Under this scheme, the homeowner has a mortgage for a percentage of the property, and pays rent to the housing association for the rest of it.
Many of the victims have called their bank to ask to be let off paying their mortgage for a month or two to give them some breathing space.
And many have been refused, a response that he found staggering given the terrible trauma which they have suffered.
It comes at a time when they will need every spare bit of money to replace goods destroyed in Saturday's fire, even if they are covered by insurance in the long term.
'I think their behaviour is hard-nosed, insensitive and immoral'
Bill Payne, housing association chiefSome are also losing out on income because they are too traumatised to return to work. Mr Payne said he had immediately decided to waive all the rent which the residents of the block, River Heights, were due to pay him.
He is also paying their hotel bills, and doing everything else possible to assist the residents, who include families with young children.
He said: 'They are calling the banks to say, “My home has been burned to the ground”.
'And the bank just says, “You've got to keep paying your mortgage. It is up to you to pay”.'
Earlier in the week, Rosie Patousa, who lived in one of the flats, told how she managed to escape the burning building with minutes to spare.
She said: 'I saw flames coming up the building. As we were trying to get out alive, a white man was coming out of Carpetright with a rug over his shoulder, laughing.'
She said she managed to leave the area with just the clothes on her back.
Homeless: Rosie Patousa managed to escape her burning home with just the clothes on her back
During emergency meetings of the residents, organised by MHP, Mr Payne said residents have been in tears, shaking and hugging each other.
Mr Payne added: 'There are people who are not sure if they can ever go back to work because they are so traumatised.'
One female resident left homeless by the fire has spoken of her outrage at her mortgage lender, Woolwich, part of Barclays.
Despite losing her home and all her belongings in the arson attack, she is being forced to keep up with her £661 monthly payments for her flat.
The woman in her 20s, who is staying with relatives, said: 'I asked Woolwich for a payment holiday.
'I wasn't trying to get out of paying my mortgage. I just wanted a month or two so I could get myself sorted because the flat has been destroyed and I've been left homeless.
'They just refused to help because they didn't feel the fact that the flat is not even there was a valid reason.
'I think it is disgusting. The whole country can see what we've been through. You would expect some compassion at a time like this. We've all been left homeless and everything we've owned has gone.
'You would expect the banking industry, who the people of this country have bailed out time and time again, would show us a little compassion.'
Enlarge Other residents have declined to be named as they speak out about their difficulties with mortgage-lenders in fear of provoking further ill-treatment.
Some residents have been more fortunate, with their bank immediately offering to help.
Yesterday a spokesman for Barclays said: 'We are dealing with it on a case by case basis, and we are obviously being sympathetic.'
A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers confirmed a homeowner is legally obliged to continue paying their mortgage, even if the flat burns down.
Their buildings insurance, which is a legal requirement for everybody who has a mortgage, only covers the rebuild costs of the property.
Mr Payne said it is likely to take about two years to rebuild the River Heights block of flats.
But he said many residents have told him that they have no intention of returning because it would bring back such terrible memories.