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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Homeowner

You need to understand your debts in order to deal with them properly. You need to prioritise your debts, figure out what you owe and to whom and work out how much you can afford to pay towards these debts. This means you'll need a good understanding of your financial situation and setting yourself a household budget.

You can be allowed to stay in your home after a repossession hearing. This may be because there wasn't a good enough reason to repossess the home or because the Master believed you should be allowed to stay to give you time to put the situation right.

Most people need to apply for a mortgage when they’re buying a home. This is a long term loan from a bank or building society. The loan is secured on your home so if you stop paying the bank can repossess the property. You should speak to an independent financial adviser to find out which type of mortgage is best for you.

You can be asked to go to court if you miss payments on your mortgage. Getting a court summons doesn't mean that you'll lose your home. There are a number of decisions that the judge at court can make. Our advisers at Housing Rights may be able to represent you at your court hearing.

Once the court reached a decision that you have to leave your home, your lender must apply to the Enforcement of Judgements Office to enforce the decision. You will have to pay the Enforcement of Judgements Office fees. These will probably be added to the balance owed on your mortgage.

You’ll normally apply for a mortgage after you’ve had an offer accepted on a property. Mortgage offers usually last for 6 months. If the sale hasn’t completed within that time you may need to reapply.

If the Chancery Master grants your lender possession, the lender has to apply to the Enforcement of Judgments Office to enforce the court's decision. Even at this late stage, you may be able to avoid having to leave your home if you can come up with a realistic proposal of repaying the money owed.

If your home is repossessed you will need to find somewhere else to live. If you lost your home because of debt problems it may be more difficult to find a place to rent or buy.

If you already have a mortgage, you may want to switch to a different mortgage or a different lender to get a better deal. This may save you money, and it may be possible to arrange temporary or long term changes. You should check your mortgage agreement to see whether you would have to pay redemption fees.

If you own a property you'll normally have to pay rates on it, even if the property is empty. You'll get a rates bill for the empty property automatically and you won't be entitled to an early payment discount. Some empty properties can be excluded from the rating system. It's worth checking to see if you can apply for an exclusion.

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