Homeowners and mortgage difficulties
Our housing service is dedicated to improving the standard of accommodation in North Lincolnshire by making homes decent, safe and comfortable to live in. This includes homes that are owner occupied, as well as private rented.
If you have a problem getting repairs or work done to your home contact the Home Assistance Team, we can help with:
- Allocating home appreciation loans – to fund essential repair work for homeowners to safeguard their health safety and welfare
- Affordable Warmth – information to help to improve the energy efficiency of your home
- Providing grant funding to help disabled people to adapt their homes in order to maintain or enhance their independence
If you are a homeowner and can no longer afford your mortgage payments, you should talk to your lender as soon as possible as they have a range of options which may be able to help you.
There are also several money advice services such as the Citizens Advice Bureau who may be able to talk to your lender about the options available.
Contact the Housing Advice Team, we can offer a confidential session with one of our advisors on how we might be able to help with issues such as:
- a homelessness assessment as soon as possible
- mediation with your family or landlord to resolve disputes
- help to prevent or reverse illegal eviction
- help to explore your options with your mortgage provider
- help to try stop court possession action
- help you to identify support you might get to find other accommodation in the private rented sector
If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, rent or Council Tax, or have found yourself getting into debt, it is important to take action quickly. If you act fast, you can prevent yourself getting into arrears with your lender or landlord.
If you have already fallen behind there are things you can do. There are many organisations who will help you find a way to meet your monthly repayments and pay off any outstanding debt.
Do what you can…
Whether your arrears have built up due to a mortgage, loan or if you have experienced difficulty in making ends meet, making small changes and planning ahead can help you through troubled times.
Reduce monthly outgoings
Some items you pay out for each month are essential and unavoidable, such as:
- mortgage or rent payments
- utility bills
Once you have paid for items that you need you can then decide how much money you have left over to spend on entertainment and leisure. For special events such as Christmas and birthdays, plan ahead and try and save a small amount each month to help spread the cost. When it does come to spending, pay for items in cash rather than on a credit or debit card to make sure you only spend what you have budgeted for.
Try not to spend more than you have as this will only get you into more debt. But if you do not have enough money to pay for the essential items you may need to look for other solutions to make ends meet.
Increase your income
You may want to consider taking on another part-time job or some overtime to help pay off your arrears. If you have lost your job or are too ill to work, your monthly mortgage repayments may be covered if you have taken out mortgage protection insurance.
You may also be entitled to benefits to supplement your income through Housing and Council Tax Benefits.
If you still can’t produce enough money to cover your monthly outgoings, you should try to pay as much as you can. It is better to pay as much as you can afford off your debt or mortgage each month rather than pay nothing. If it reached a point where your home might be re-possessed, a court will look more favourably on your case if you have made attempts to pay your arrears.
Buying a home for the first time can be expensive and will probably be your biggest single investment. Make sure you have an idea of the different costs and find out ways you could make buying a home possible and less daunting. Things to consider and plan into your budget when buying a home are:
- Survey fees
- Valuation fees
- Stamp duty land tax
- Land registry fee
- Local authority searches
- Any fees charged by the mortgage lender or someone who arranges the mortgage, for example, a mortgage broker
- Solicitor fees
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Whether you need emergency housing, a care home, want to rent or buy your own place, it is important to find somewhere that suits your needs.
You also need to understand the rights each option would give you. As a homeowner, options available to you may be restricted.
Affordable Housing[PDF, 361Kb]
Are you renting privately and struggling with rent or in fear of eviction? Are you a home owner and have lost your job or having other difficulties to keep paying your mortgage.
As soon as you start to have problems making your repayments, get in contact with your lender or landlord and talk through your options. Lenders will usually be willing to make a payment arrangements or they may agree to reduce your repayments.
Mortgage companies may allow you to:
- Pay just the interest off your mortgage each month
- Extend the term of your mortgage
- Take a payment holiday
- Add the arrears to the rest of your mortgage
If you are in arrears with your mortgage, it may make sense to rent out your home or sell your property.
If you rent it out, make sure the rent you receive will cover the monthly mortgage repayments on the property. You should also ensure that you can afford to live elsewhere as it may mean that you may have to rent yourself. If you do not want to move out of your home and you have a spare room you could consider taking in a lodger. You will need to check with your mortgage provider to see if either of these options are possible.
You may decide that the best option for you is to sell your home and pay off the remaining mortgage and any arrears accrued. Many estate agents give free valuations and can advise you on a suitable price to put your property on the market at. If the property is worth less than the value of your mortgage, this is called negative equity. If you are in negative equity, you may need to get approval from your mortgage provider before you can sell and then you will need to illustrate how you will pay the reminder.
Bear in mind the significant costs in buying and selling property and make sure you can afford this route before you sell your property.
Monday to Thursday: 9am to 5pm
Friday: 9am to 4.30pm