Advice for homeowners in mortgage arrears
Mortgages are priority debts - this means your mortgage should be the first bill you pay every month.
If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, and you think that your mortgage provider may evict you, it’s important that you talk to them as soon as you start getting into arrears. The earlier you speak to them the more chance you have of avoiding losing your home.
Many mortgage providers have options to help you avoid repossession. They can reduce your payments for a set period, move you to an interest only mortgage or give you a payment holiday.
If you have lost your job or you are too ill to work, check whether you have got mortgage protection insurance - this may cover your mortgage payments.
It is also worth finding out whether you are entitled to benefits such as working tax credit, child tax credit or council tax support.
Get independent advice
You can get free independent advice from a number of organisations about managing your debts . These organisations can deal with the people you owe money to as well as your mortgage provider. They will also help you with budgeting.
You can get advice from:
If you have had advice but are still at risk of repossession, there is further help available:
Homeowner mortgage support scheme
This is for people who have experienced a temporary fall in income. The scheme allows lenders to reduce the monthly mortgage payments, with the deferred payments being paid at a later date when your financial circumstances have improved.
The scheme is voluntary and subject to eligibility criteria. You should contact your mortgage company and ask whether they are providing this scheme.
If you took your mortgage out after 31 October 2004
The Financial Services Authority regulates most mortgages taken out after this date. Under their rules, lenders must treat you fairly and send you regular statements to keep you informed about your current arrears position. There are also rules covering what the mortgage company must do if they intend to repossess your home.
Mortgage Rescue Scheme
Due to a reduction in funding, West Lancashire Borough Council is no longer able to offer this scheme.