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This couple never missed a mortgage payment on their seaside retirement haven.... So why are they being taken to court by their bank and now face losing their home?

AN elderly couple in their seventies are facing eviction after Santander has refused to extend their mortgage.
Len and Val Fitzgerald, who are 77 and 76, now face a £180,000 bill after their interest-only mortgage has come to an end.

Santander is now taking the couple to court for an eviction hearing that could mean the retired couple could be turfed out of their home after 17 years, according to The Daily Mail. 
The couple were forced to convert their mortgage to interest-only one after Val lost her job in 2007 to manage their repayments.
Len has not been able to work since 2011 because of an operation for lung cancer, and despite this the couple have never missed a payment.
Len and Val are among the 1.67million borrowers with an interest-only mortgage which means they only pay the interest on their loan each month.
This means that borrowers are left with a lump sum to pay when their mortgage deal comes to an end.

Len and Val's mortgage with Santander came to an end when they both turned 75 - the bank's age limit for mortgage lending.
The couple have been trying to appeal that decision for three years, calling on the bank to extend their mortgage until they are both 85.
Len, a former accountant said: ‘It seems like a heartless decision by Santander as we have no trouble paying our mortgage."
‘The idea of uprooting at our age is horrible. I don’t know where we will go. We have lived in this area for the past 17 years and have friends and family here. It will be a hell of disruption at our time of life.’
Last month Santander agreed to give the couple two months to consider remortgaging or to try and put the property on the market.
After a discussion with Santander on Friday, Len and Val have been given another six months to sell their house.
If the couple manage to sell their £260,000 house they will only have £80,000 left after they repay the bank to look for another property with.
The retired couple's only option is to sell up and find a cheap rental property outside Eastbourne as they will not be able to afford to buy a house in the area.

A spokesperson for Santander said: “It is not in the interest of either customers or the bank to lend in circumstances where we believe it will become unaffordable in the future."
“We have been working with the Fitzgeralds to find an alternative resolution to their request to vary their original mortgage terms and have guided them towards finding appropriate financial advice. We will continue to work to help them find a solution.”

Millions of borrowers across the UK who take out these ticking time bomb mortgages are at risk of losing their homes if they have no way to pay back the lump sum when the deal comes to an end.
According to the Financial Conduct Authority nearly one in five mortgage customers have an interest-only mortgage.
Over the next few years more homeowners with these types of loans will be ending their deals and they will be required to pay off their mortgage in full - or risk having their home repossessed.
In July last year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (now the UK Finance) said that it believed one in 10 households did not have an appropriate strategy to repay the loan once it expires.

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