Halifax tighten their lending criteria further

From today Halifax say that all applicants applying for an interest only mortgage will be also be required to provide evidence of a suitable repayment plan, as initially reported on Mortgage Introducer last week.
Halifax commented on the measure:
“As a responsible lender, we believe that it is necessary to ensure our borrowers have an appropriate repayment strategy in place to pay off the mortgage balance at the end of their term”.
Any existing customer who, for whatever reason, may be looking to convert either part or all of their current repayment mortgage to interest only will also be required to provide the same evidence.
Might this be a case of bolting the stable door after the horse has already bolted?
Whilst this will go some way to protecting Halifax from today what about all the interest only mortgages that were approved without this information being provided — where will they stand if the borrower is unable to pay at the end of the mortgage term?
What if the value of the house and the outstanding mortgage amount do not match?
If the housing market does not improve to at least 2006/2007 levels there could be many home owners who have a problem with repaying the outstanding mortgage amount.
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