Receivership during the COVID-19 era: Why complacency must never set in…

By -

Daniel Richardson - Partner CG&Co

The history books will make fascinating reading one day…

When it comes to recording the uncharted times we’re all currently working – and living – through, the pandemic will clearly prove definitive.

Everyone is now hoping that coronavirus will soon become a thing of the past.

We’re also hoping that whatever variants emerge in coming weeks will prove nothing more than an annoying ‘blip’ for both the NHS as well as the economic recovery of ‘UK plc.’

But we’re not there yet…

For a start, the repercussions of coronavirus continue to unravel and forecasts for the UK’s economic recovery are still highly dependent on the severity of those future variants.

Much of this remains impossible to predict.

Nonetheless, many economists now expect the recovery from the initial pandemic shock to continue, with the pre-pandemic level of GDP surpassed in the first half of this year.

But even with continued above-average growth rates, our economy is unlikely to return to its pre-pandemic levels and trends this year.

This is highly likely to mean that lenders will encounter an ever-increasing number of default loans in coming months.

And then there are other rapidly emerging issues to keep front of mind.

For a start, the UK base rate has been increased in recent months to 0.5% – with further increases anticipated soon.

Unless we move back into lockdown and the economy tanks again, I strongly suspect that there will be more of the same in coming months as the government increasingly looks to tackle inflation.

Indeed, the rising costs of living remain a massive problem.

Last month, [January] it was reported that UK households have suffered the sharpest fall in the amount of cash they have available to spend for almost eight years.

What’s the reason for this? Put simply, it’s the ‘cost of living crisis’ driven by high inflation and rising energy bills.

The extent to which this crisis limits consumer spending throughout 2022 remains to be seen – but it will undoubtedly impact the amount of money borrowers have available to repay loans.

And this – in turn – will lead to an ever-increasing number of rent arrears on buy-to-let properties resulting in escalating levels of mortgage arrears.

So, what must lenders do at this point in time?

As we enter the next phase of this Covid-19 era, lenders owe it to themselves to ensure that they are consistently taking the most proactive approach.

It remains more essential than ever for them to relend at rates that are most advantageous to them using their own funds.

Consequently, they must consistently collaborate with specialist property receivers who have the most comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of this fast-changing situation – and specifically the legal repercussions of what’s unravelling.

At CG&Co, our expert in-house legal department has consistently remained on top of all developments since March 2020.

While none of us can predict how this ‘Covid-19 era’ will unravel in 2022, the one thing we can all be certain of is this…

It’s never been more imperative for lenders to work with the most driven and dynamic property receivers if they’re to maximise their advantage during these truly unpredictable times.