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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Homeowner

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Lots of people get back on their feet after falling into arrears and manage to keep their home. Falling behind on your mortgage doesn't mean you'll have to hand back your keys or that you'll have to pay everything you owe in a lump sum. Your lender should offer you a range of options to help you get back on track.

If your home has been damaged your insurance may cover the cost of repairs. Read your policy and make sure that the damage is covered. Your policy documents will tell you what to do if you need to make a claim.

You're in negative equity if you owe more on your mortgage or secured loan than your home is currently worth. Selling your home won't clear your debts.

If the money from the sale of your home isn't enough to cover your debts, you will still owe the outstanding amount to your lender or mortgage indemnity insurer.

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.

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 you’re struggling to meet your mortgage payments, you may also be tempted to consider selling your home and renting it back through a mortgage rescue scheme.

If your current housing situation doesn't suit your needs it's natural to think you might have to move. But, with the right help and support, you may be able to continue living in your current home. While housing waiting lists are so long and renting privately can be expensive it's worth checking if you can do something practical to allow you to continue living where you are.

Areas with large numbers of houses in disrepair can be vested by the government. In Northern Ireland this work is normally done by the Housing Executive. This means that owners of these properties are legally required to sell them to the Housing Executive. The Housing Executive will buy these properties at their current market value and redevelop the area for social housing.

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.

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