Many homeowners in the UK have mortgage arrears due to numerous factors including ill health, reduced hours, redundancy and separation. If you are claiming certain income related benefits then you can claim for help with mortgage costs towards your mortgage from the job centre. You should also contact your lender about changing your mortgage if possible to reduce the payments.
If you have other debts then you also need to seek debt advice from national companies such as paypal or the CCCS which offer free advice. There are many companies out there that include payplan or CCCS as part of there business name to trick unsuspecting desperate people into using their company but these companies will charge a fee for something you can get for free from the above companies.
If you are not eligible for help from the job centre towards the mortgage costs or the amount awarded is not enough. Then after asking your mortgage company for help if you still cannot afford to pay the mortgage then you will be eligible to apply for the government mortgage rescue scheme in the UK.
The criteria is that you must have exhausted all possibilities such as seeking debt advice and contacting the lender before being considered for the scheme. The criteria is strict in that it is only a limited pot of money although this runs into the millions and that you must:
- be facing repossession
- have a young child under 16 or ill health within the house hold
- the property value must not be above the regional cap which is 135 thousand in the North West
- there must be a maximum of 20 percent negative equity in the property
If you qualify on the 4 points then you can submit an application form to your local council to be considered. Most councils have instructed a local advice agency such as Citizens Advice Bureau to filter the applications and to assist with the form filling. If you are not sure who your local agency is then you need to contact your housing department for further information.
Once you have been assessed and the form completed then a surveyor will attend at your property to value your property and determine the amount of equity whether this is positive or negative. If you have negative equity then your lender may be willing to accept less than is owed if they are to be paid in full. There is also the possibility that your council will offer the Homeless Prevention Fund. The theory behind the Local Authority Repossessions Prevention Fund is that relatively small amounts of money can prevent people from being evicted and thereby becoming homeless.
Local authorities can extend small loans to families at risk of homelessness through repossession or eviction via the Repossessions Prevention Fund.
It can also be used for example in helping tenants facing eviction who are struggling with rent or mortgage payments. Small loans to top-up lender write-down on Mortgage Rescue cases where the householder is in negative equity. Lenders can write down the original loan or convert the arrears to an unsecured loan. You should contact your local housing team or council offices to enquire whether this facility is available to you.
If the process all goes smooth and the sale of your home is completed to a housing association then you will become a tenant of the housing association with the right to repair and an affordable rent. You will also have the back up of claiming housing benefit to pay your rent if you are not working or earn a low income.