A NORTH-EAST building society has pledged to help people keep their homes during what it calls a time of extreme uncertainty.

Darlington Building Society said it will help every borrower keep their home with a package of support, available to any society member who finds themselves in financial difficulty due to Covid-19.

People on furlough, experiencing a loss of income or facing redundancy, can benefit from a three-month mortgage payment deferrals – if they haven’t as yet taken one – which will remain available up to October 31.

If a home owner has already taken a payment deferral, the building society says a range of flexible options are available, which may include extending payment deferrals for a further three months.

The society will also not begin repossessing homes before May 30, 2021, if people are in arrears due to Covid-19 “as long as they keep working with us to get their mortgage back on track”.

Renters may also benefit as buy-to-let landlords who take payment deferrals will be encouraged to give their tenants a rent break too.

Chief executive of Darlington Building Society Andrew Craddock said: “At Darlington Building Society our members come first, and we want to ensure the right support is available during any period of personal disruption, ill health or financial difficulty arising from coronavirus.

“We have supported out members throughout the coronavirus outbreak, speaking to everyone who has requested a payment deferral to help them understand if that is the right decision for them.

“It is worth remembering that whilst payment deferrals can help cash flow in the short-term, it does increase costs in the long-term."

He added: “For those members who are coming to the end of their payment deferral period we will be in touch to discuss their options going forward, and I would finally encourage any of our members who are experiencing financial difficulties to get in touch to discuss their individual circumstances.”

Darlington Building Society, which previously won the Treating Customers Fairly Award in the 2020 British Bank Awards, following up previous year’s accolades of Best Specialist Mortgage Provider in 2019 and Best Savings Provider in 2018, can also refer those in need of free debt advice to an advice network.