Are you worried about keeping up with your mortgage payments?
Do you think you may have difficulties in the future? Do you have difficulties now? If so, we are here to help you. The best way to make sure a situation does not get any worse is to contact us as soon as possible.
If you are an owner occupier, please call us on our helpline number 0345 702 3083 and we will try to assist you in resolving the situation. This number is charged at local rates and is available from 9am to 6pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4.45pm Fridays. Alternatively you may wish to use our direct helpline telephone number (0191) 244 2257.
The Society will treat all customers fairly, taking individual circumstances into consideration.
We may be able to help you:
- Arrange a new payment plan with you taking your individual circumstances into consideration.
- Change the way you make payments or the date on which you make them.
- Allow you to repay your mortgage over a longer period of time.
- Offer a payment break (conditions apply).
If you qualify for any of these options, we will explain how it will work and give you time to consider. If we cannot offer any of the options, we will tell you why. There are also government schemes which can be considered if Society forbearances are not appropriate.
What you can do to help us:
- Tell us as soon as possible if you are having problems repaying your mortgage.
- Seek debt advice if you need help managing your finances.
- If we try to contact you, respond quickly.
- Make sure you keep any other people paying the mortgage, and anyone guaranteeing the mortgage, up to date with what is happening.
- Keep to any payment plan we make with you, or tell us if there is a change in your circumstances which may affect the arrangement.
- Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help increase your income.
- Check whether you have an insurance policy which may help with your payments.
- Tell us if you move to a new address.
Costs and Charges
If you are in arrears, we may charge you for reasonable administration and legal costs. We will tell you about the amounts charged and options for repayment methods.
You may wish to talk to a professional adviser, such as a solicitor or a debt counsellor before you change your mortgage arrangement and we strongly advise that you seek independent, free debt advice. The following people may be able to help:
- Your local Citizen's Advice Centre.
- Consumer Credit Counselling Service on freephone 0800 138 1111.
- National Debtline on freephone 0808 808 4000.
- Money Advice Workers at your local Council, telephone numbers listed in Yellow Pages and details online.
If we cannot agree a solution:
- We may send a collections agent to discuss your financial circumstances and the cost of the visit will be charged to your mortgage account.
- We may go to court to start proceedings to repossess your home. If this action takes place, we strongly recommend that you attend the court and take independent debt advice. We will keep trying to solve the problem with you. Possession is always a last resort. Starting court proceedings does not necessarily mean that we will repossess your home.
If we do repossess your home:
- We will sell it for the best possible price.
- We will give you a reasonable time to take your possessions from the property.
- We will use the money raised from the sale, to repay your mortgage and any other loans or charges.
- If there is any money left, we will pay it to you.
- If there is insufficient money to repay the mortgage you will still owe us the amount that is left (shortfall debt). We will tell you the amount as soon as possible.
- We will take into account your income and outgoings when we arrange a payment plan to repay the shortfall debt.
- If the shortfall debt is not repaid, it can affect your future ability to obtain credit.
- 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 pay only part of the mortgage.
- We will contact you within six years of selling your property (five in Scotland) to arrange for you to pay back what you still owe.
Some companies may offer you new loans or 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 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 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 any such action.
Most importantly - do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Litigation and repossession are always a last resort. The sooner you contact, the sooner we can consider all options available to you.
Should any payment shortfall reach one monthly repayment, the Society is obligated to disclose information to a credit reference agency. This information could have an impact on your ability to obtain credit in the future. It is therefore essential that contact is made at the earliest opportunity.
YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE