Get advice as soon as possible if you can't pay. The Land & Property Services have a strict procedure for recovering rates arrears. There are strict time limits. If you contact your local Land & Property Services office, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan.
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.
Many people can sort out their debt problems by negotiating with creditors and trying to settle debts, often with free help from an advice agency. However, there are more formal ways to solve debt problems but these will have a big impact on your future ability to get a loan, mortgage or any other type of credit.
The Loan Calculator from the Money Advice Service can help you work out how long it will take you to pay off your loan, based on your current monthly payments. If you're having money problems, it's best to get some free, independent advice from a charity before you take on any further debt.