Mortgage arrears and repossession
If you are struggling to pay your mortgage it is recommended that you speak to your lender without delay; lenders are used to people doing this and they should do their best to help you.
If your income falls and you start to receive income-related benefits then after 13 weeks the Government may help you pay the interest on your mortgage under the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme.
You cannot simply "hand your keys in" - you will still owe the outstanding mortgage and the debt will keep getting bigger.
Think very carefully about a 'sale and rent back' arrangement because you are unlikely to get the full value of your home, your tenancy will only be secure for a short time, and as a tenant you can easily be evicted if you fail to pay the rent.
If you need to sort out your finances:
- Free financial advice is available at The Money Advice Service.
- For specialist and free debt advice contact National debtline on 0808 808 400 or the Step Change Debt Charity or see My Money Steps.
- Free debt advice and free debt management services are available from Payplan.
- For benefits and finding work contact Jobcentre Plus on 0845 6060 234 or at Job Centre Plus.
- For face to face advice about money, debt, benefits and mortgage difficulties contact the Citizen's Advice Bureau.
- Work out how much you are receiving and spending by completing a financial statement.
If your lender has told you they are going to repossess your home, please contact Housing Options without delay for help and advice. We may be able to help save your home.
If your lender is taking repossession proceedings this does not mean they will automatically get possession. It is worth making every effort to attend the court hearing. At most courts there is a court desk service of solicitors able to represent you if you arrive early and discuss your case with them. If you do this the court may decide not to grant possession to your lender so that you can keep your home.