Debt is often described in negative terms. But borrowing money, or ‘taking on debt’, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Manageable debts, that you can comfortably pay back over an agreed period, are often necessary in order to take that next step in life.
It’s only when debt repayments become unmanageable or unaffordable that debt becomes a problem.
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If you’ve fallen behind with your mortgage arrears, your lender will now be pursuing the debt.
It’s important to remember that your lender – and any organisation that you deal with in respect of your mortgage arrears – will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This body was set up to regulate how financial institutions treat their customers, with a focus on ensuring customers are treated fairly. There are certain actions and tactics these organisations cannot use.
If you’ve already been provided with a court date or you’re facing repossession get debt help immediately.
At this point, your lender won’t be interested in why you’ve fallen behind on your payments. Their focus will be on finding a way to recover their money. However, this doesn’t mean your lender is necessarily looking to repossess your home.
In fact, if foreclosure potentially results in a greater loss for them than giving you time and space to find a way to pay back the debts, they’ll be keen to avoid this if other options are available.
What you should do:
- Communicate – keep your lender up to date on your situation and be clear that you’re working to find a way to bring your mortgage arrears payments up-to-date
- Listen – your lender may wish to discuss a payment plan that will help pay your mortgage arrears in installments
- Budget – The reality is that you’ll need to pay back the payments you’ve missed. If cutting outgoings can help you do this quicker, you should consider doing so
- Prioritise – We understand that you may have other debts, such as credit cards. But your home is at risk if you don’t keep up mortgage repayments, so remember to prioritise the most serious debts first.
What you should not do:
- Ignore phone calls and letters – Being chased for mortgage payments is stressful, but ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
- Lie or mislead – Be as honest as you can with the lender. You won’t be the first person they’ll have dealt with who is struggling to pay their mortgage arrears, so there’s no need to hide any information.
- Borrow more money – Taking on extra finance to service a more pressing debt, especially at a high rate of interest or from a disreputable lender, is not a good idea.
There are always other options available. Contact the Creditfix team today to discuss how we may be able to help your with your mortgage arrears. Our highly trained advisors are here to provide free, impartial advice.
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