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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Mortgage debt

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

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.

Getting into difficulties with your mortgage payments is often easier than you think, so the sooner you tackle your financial problems, the better the result may be for you.

Taking action to repossess a property involves a number of stages, which can take a few weeks or months. You may be able to stop the process at any stage, so get advice immediately and keep negotiating with your lender.

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.

If you are a homeowner, you can only be evicted if the court makes an order telling you to leave. This section explains what happens once your lender has applied to the court to evict you.

Planning your finances and your repayments is the most effective way of dealing with debt. An adviser can help you with this process if you're not sure what you should be doing.

Your best shot at saving your home is to get advice and go to your hearing. There will often be a solicitor from Housing Rights at court on the day of your hearing who can represent you in front of the Master.

You can be asked to appear at court if you fall behind on your mortgage. Getting a summons to appear in court 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.

You will normally only be able to stop the repossession if you can pay the arrears off in a lump sum or in acceptable instalments. However, there are a few legal defences that could help your case.

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.

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