It has taken only 9 months for the once thriving mortgage lending sector to be brought to it's knees by global investors losing confidence in mortgage backed securities.
The specialist (sub prime) sector has been hit hardest with many lenders either constantly repricing, withdrawing products or withdrawing from the market entirely. The majority of these lenders depended on the securitising their assets, so they cannot continue to lend in the current situation.
The closing of businesses and redundancies are rising among lenders, packagers and brokers and this is having an adverse effect on the wider market. Potential mortgage customers without a sizeable deposit and those with poor credit histories are being left stranded with few lenders to turn to.
The result of all this will be unsustainable debt levels, high numbers of repossessions, growing homelessness, and problems with negative equity.
With no end to the international credit crisis in sight, the government needs to act to safeguard an industry which has been so effective and innovative in the past.
With a huge amount of demand for mortgages, healthy income streams are available for lenders with money to lend.
It is time to consider solutions to the problem and it is time the government opened dialogue with the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Association of Mortgage Lenders, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority.
The difficulties that are being experienced can be resolved but need communication and action.