If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, we will try to help you. This explains how we will treat you fairly, and what steps you should take to help yourself.
- Contact you as soon as possible to discuss your problem.
- Talk to an agency which gives debt advice (for example, Citizens' Advice), if you want us to and provided we have your written authority to do so.
- Give you reasonable time to pay back the debt.
- Only start proceedings to repossess your home if we cannot solve the problem with you.
- Check whether you are eligible for any government assisted schemes.
We might be able to
- Arrange a new payment plan with you, taking both our interests into account.
- Change the way you make your payments, or the date you make them.
- Change the type of mortgage for example by considering a change to your repayment type or term extension.
If we cannot offer you any of these options, we will tell you why. If we can make one of these arrangements with you, we will explain how it would work, including the financial implications, and give you time to consider it. If we cannot offer any of these options, we will consider allowing you to remain in the property for a reasonable period of time whilst we assist you with the sale of the property.
What you can do to help us
- Tell us as soon as possible if you are having problems repaying your mortgage or think that you might experience problems shortly.
- Complete a Personal Budget Form and return it to the address below:
- Seek debt advice if you would like help with managing your finances. Eg Citizens Advice, National Debt line.
- Contact us quickly, if we try to contact you.
- Keep to the payment plan we agree with you, or tell us if there is a change in your circumstances which may affect the arrangement. If you do not make the agreed payments, we might have to go to court to get back any money you owe us, or to repossess your property.
- Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help to increase your income.
- If you have an insurance policy, check whether it would help with your payments.
- Tell us if you move to a new address.
We would strongly recommend that you seek independent financial advice before you change your mortgage arrangements.
Costs and charges
If you are in arrears, we may charge you for reasonable administrative and legal costs. We will tell you the amount you will have to pay.
If we cannot agree on a solution
- We may instruct a field collection agent to see you to discuss your financial circumstances, and the cost of the visit may be charged to your mortgage account.
- We may go to court to start proceedings to repossess your home. If proceedings take place, we strongly recommend that you attend the court and that you seek independent debt advice.
- Starting court proceedings does not necessarily mean that we will repossess your home. We will keep trying to solve the problem with you. Possession is a last resort.
- Before we repossess your home, we will give you advice about getting in touch with your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.
If we repossess your home
- We will sell it for the best price we can reasonably get.
- We will give you reasonable time to take your possessions from your home.
- We will use the money raised from selling your home to pay your mortgage and any other loans or charges.
- If there is any money left over, we will pay it to you.
If selling your home does not raise enough money to pay off the mortgage
- If there is not enough money from the sale to repay the whole mortgage, you will still owe us the amount that is left (a shortfall debt). We will tell you what this is as soon as possible.
- If you bought your home with other borrowers, each of you is responsible for all the money borrowed, even if you normally only pay part of the mortgage.
- We will contact you within a reasonable period of time to discuss arrangements for you to pay back what you still owe.
- We will take account of your income and expenditure when we arrange a payment plan for this shortfall debt with you to ensure that this is affordable. However if we cannot arrange a suitable plan, we may go to court to get our money back and you might have to pay additional court costs.
- If a shortfall debt is not paid, it could affect your ability to obtain credit in future.