Do you need help and advice about your mortgage?

In the current economic climate, more households are struggling with their mortgage payments and facing the threat of repossession.  The Government is determined to help people to stay in their homes wherever possible and, a range of measures is now in place to provide help at every stage to households struggling with their mortgage repayments. 

The government website GOV.UK provides advice and information on repossession and an interactive tool to develop your own personal action plan.  Visit National Debtline or call them on 0808 808 4000 if you are facing - or likely to face - difficulties with your mortgage payments.

Repossession is a scary thing - but you are not the only one to face this problem. There are thousands of other people in the same boat as you. In fact, the repossession rate is at its highest for eight years (although it’s still a small number compared to the number of homes that exist in Britain). So don’t feel alone or ashamed

Repossession is generally used to refer to a financial institution taking back an object that was used as collateral. As a home owner, you can only be evicted if your lender or freeholder can prove a legal reason and the correct procedure is followed.

Repossession doesn't happen automatically. It may be possible to stop the process at any stage.

Do you have to be repossessed?

There has to be a legal reason for your home to be repossessed. The most common reasons are:

  • Mortgage arrears,
  • Failure to pay secured loans,
  • Bankruptcy.

If you don’t keep up with the repayments on your mortgage or a secured loan (that’s a loan that is “secured” against your house), your lender can take legal action against you to repossess and sell your home in order to get back the money you owe. Remember, even if you keep up to date with your mortgage, you could lose your home if you fall behind with payments on your secured loan.

Normally two months of arrears is enough for a lender to take action. Most lenders will try to come to an arrangement to clear the arrears and avoid taking proceedings. On the whole they don’t want to repossess you, they would rather have you carrying on paying the mortgage, or the loan, for years. But if they think that you won’t be able to then they will certainly want to get their hands on your home.

So what can I do now?

If you are being threatened with repossession, talk to us immediately here at NNDC.  Don’t be conned by one of the companies that offer to buy your home for you or offer you a quick but expensive loan - speak to people who will give you genuine, unbiased, free advice. The charity Shelter has an Advice Services Directory which lists free housing advice services near you. Or you can go to your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau for free, immediate help.