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The Independent Online
HOME owners trapped by negative equity may be able to sell their endowment policies rather than surrender them to the insurer, and make enough money to pay off the difference between what they owe and what they could get for their home, according to Securitised Endowment Contracts, which buys and sells second-hand endowment policies.

Endowment policies which have been running for less than five years rarely have any market or surrender value, but older policies fetch an average 15 per cent more on the open market than they are worth in surrender value.

q Details: 0181-207-1666.

THE New Homes Marketing Board is offering free redundancy insurance, paying mortgage interest payments for up to nine months for buyers who purchase homes from participating builders. The free cover lasts three years.

NATIONAL Savings is asking investors who took out Yearly Savings Plans over five years to cancel their standing orders on the next anniversary of their policies. Yearly Plans were withdrawn earlier this year.

CAPITAL Home Loans is offering 18 months' free unemployment insurance with its new fixed-rate mortgages, which cost 3.75 per cent for a year on loans up to 75 per cent of the property valuation and 3.95 per cent for up to 95 per cent. A two-year fixed rate of 5.25 per cent is available for up to 75 per cent and 5.45 per cent for up to 95 per cent. Special deals are available for the self-employed, but all plans have longish penalty tails

EPSOM-BASED National Counties Building Society is offering a new five- year discount mortgage at 1.5 per cent below the current standard variable rate of 8.39 per cent. Bradford & Bingley is offering a five-year fixed- rate mortgage at 8.49 per cent.