Are you having problems paying your mortgage?
If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, then we’ll try to help you. The following information explains how we will treat you fairly and some steps you should take to help yourself.
- Contact you as soon as possible to discuss your problem
- If you agree, we’ll talk to an agency which gives debt advice (for example, Citizens Advice)
- Give you reasonable time to pay back the debt
- Only start proceedings to repossess your home if we cannot solve the problem by working with you.
We might be able to:
- Arrange a new payment plan with you, taking all interests into account
- Change the way that you make your payments, or the date on which you make them.
- Allow you to pay back the mortgage over a longer period of time (which would reduce your monthly repayments)
- Change the type of mortgage
- If we cannot offer you any of the above options, we will explain why. If we can make one of these arrangements with you, we will explain how it would work and give you time to consider. If we cannot offer any of these options, we might agree to you remaining in the property to sell the property yourself, depending on your circumstances.
What you can do to help us:
- Tell us as soon as possible if you are having problems repaying your mortgage or think that you might experience problems
- Read the Money Advice Service guide entitled 'Problems paying your mortgage'. It is available at moneyadviceservice.org.uk or by phoning 0300 500 5000
- Seek debt advice if you would like help with managing your finances. Here are some options of who can help you:
- Money Advice Service - 0300 5005000
- StepChange - 0800 1381111
- National Debtline - 0808 8084000
- Citizens Advice Bureau - 03444 111444 (England) 03444 772020 (Wales)
You may want to talk to a professional advisor, such as a debt counsellor or a lawyer. We advise you to do this before you change your mortgage arrangements. We do strongly advise that you seek independent and free debt advice first.
- If we try and contact you, please come back to us quickly. This will really help the process
- Make sure you keep any other people paying the mortgage, and anyone guaranteeing the mortgage, up-to date with what is happening
- Keep to the payment plan we agree with you. Or tell us if there is a change in your circumstances which may affect the arrangement. If you do not make the agreed payment, we might have to go to court to get back any money you owe us, or to repossess your property
- Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help to increase your income
- If you have an insurance policy, check whether it would help with your payments. Let us know if you move to a new address.
Costs and charges
If you are in arrears, we may charge you for reasonable administrative and legal costs. We will inform you beforehand of any costs you will have to pay.
If we cannot settle on a solution:
- We may send a debt counsellor to visit you to discuss your financial circumstances, and this cost may be charged to your mortgage account
- We may go to Court to start proceedings to repossess your home. If proceedings take place, we strongly recommend that you attend the Court and that you seek independent debt advice
- Starting Court proceedings does not necessarily mean that we will repossess your home. We will keep trying to solve the problem with you. Possession is only the last resort
If we do have to repossess your home, we will give you advice about getting in touch with your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.
If we repossess your home:
- We will sell it for the best price we can reasonably get. We will try to sell it as soon as possible
- We will give you reasonable time to take the possessions from your home
- We will use the money raised from selling your home to pay your mortgage and any other loans or charges
- If there is any money left over, we will pay it to you.
If selling your home does not raise enough money to pay off the mortgage
If there is not enough money from the sale to pay the whole mortgage, you will still owe us the amount that is left (a shortfall debt). We will inform you of this is as soon as possible.
If you bought your home with other borrowers, each of you is responsible for all the money borrowed. This is true even if you normally only pay part of the mortgage.
We will contact you within six years of selling your property to arrange for you to pay back what you still owe.
We will take account of your income and outgoings when we arrange a payment plan for this shortfall debt with you. But if we cannot arrange a suitable plan, we may go to Court to get our money returned. You may have to pay additional court costs.
If a shortfall debt is not paid, it could affect whether you are able to get credit in future.
Some companies may offer you new loans, or even invite you to sell your property to them, and then lease it back as a way of resolving your short-term financial difficulty. Please be careful, as such actions may not be in your long-term best interests. We would advise you to seek independent advice before entering into any arrangement of this type.
You may be thinking about handing your keys over to us. If you do this, you will still owe us any outstanding debt, and we would advise you to discuss this option with us before taking such action.
If you do not think that you have been treated fairly, you can make a complaint by following our Complaints Procedure.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
If you fail to keep up with payments on your mortgage a 'Receiver of Rent' may be appointed and your rental property, or other property used as security, may be repossessed.