Financial times have become much harder for people in recent years. So it is more important to make regular checks on your finance. If you do not keep up with your mortgage repayments there is a risk your home could be repossessed.
Your home can only be repossessed for mortgage arrears if a court agrees and if the correct procedures are followed. Help is available - don't face repossession alone.
If you have received a summons to attend court it is very important that you go. Going to court is nothing to be afraid of and it's a chance for you to tell the court what you are doing about your mortgage arrears.
Help is available from the court desk service on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9.45am to 12.30pm. Read more about Attend to Defend.
What if I can't afford my mortgage payments?
Make your mortgage payments your top priority and pay them ahead of non-priority debts and unsecured loans.
- If you have any concerns that you might not be able to pay your mortgage or could struggle, you should speak to your mortgage lender as soon as possible. They are more likely to help if they are kept informed.
- To keep your home you must keep your payments going. Show that you are willing by paying what you can and tell your lender why you are only able to afford this much.
- Maximize your income – if you have a spare room consider a lodger and make a claim for benefits.
- If you cannot pay anything at all – don’t panic – but contact your lender and let them know what’s going on
What can my mortgage lender do to help?
There are options available that your lender might agree to put in place to help you keep your home.
Don't worry about talking to your lender about your mortgage. Courts will now expect lenders to demonstrate that they are working harder with their borrowers to try to resolve mortgage arrears in order to make repossession a last resort. This is known as the Mortgage Pre-action Protocol.
- You need to be aware that any changes that you make to your mortgage might result in charges over the longer term such as interest
- Agree to change or lengthen the term of your mortgage loan
- Accept reduced payments from you in the short term
- Add the arrears to the amount you borrowed
- Allow you time to sell. If you settle for this option you need to consider carefully where you will live instead. You should contact your local authority for your housing options
- Ask for them to cut the charges they make to you for being in debt with your mortgage
- Any arrangement you make might be for the shorter term. You will need to keep your lender up to date with any changes in your circumstances
- Avoid signing up for property schemes that appear too good to be true as they probably are
What other help is there?
Shelter- For help and advice about: repossession, ways to prevent repossession,court action, bailiffs and what happens after repossession.
Council of Mortgage Lenders- Information if you are not making mortgage payments now or are worried it may become a problem in the future.
The Money Advice Service- Help about taking control of debt.
Welfare Rights and Money Advice- Help with how to manage debt.