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STEP 1:  tell us about your debts...

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STEP 2:  your employment status...

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    BENEFIT
  • OTHER
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was it? Step 3 coming right up...

STEP 3:  you and your home...

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  • RENT
  • ENGLAND
  • SCOTLAND
  • WALES
  • NORTHERN
    IRELAND
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Step 4 is not so bad either...

STEP 4:  what is your credit rating...

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  • I DON'T
    KNOW
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STEP 5:  how should we contact you...

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Whether it’s unpaid council tax
or multiple credit cards, (or both
for that matter), unpaid debt

can become a living nightmare.

We get it. We’ve been there.

And it’s not fun. So if you’re struggling big time with problem debt,
we probably have a solution to your problems. From an IVA in
England, to the Scottish equivalent Trust Deed... read on and we
could help you on your way to Debt Freedom...


Is your home at risk?

When you’re struggling with money, your home is one of the biggest worries you can have. Above all, you want your home to feel safe and secure, especially when you have kids.

Here we look at the different aspects of your home and your debts… from falling behind with your rent and mortgage to potentially using your equity to straighten out your finances.




Evictions and repossessions

It’s frightening to face the possibility of repossession or eviction. We understand the pressure you’re under and want to do everything we can to help you stay in your home.

Ideally you’d get in touch with us before reaching this stage, but we can still help you right up until a court has granted the eviction notice. If you live in Scotland, we can put a ‘moratorium’ in place. This gives you 6 weeks clear breathing space to take action and sort out a debt solution with us to stop your eviction.



MORTGAGES ARREARS AND REPOSSESSIONS…

If you receive a notice of repossession in the post, read it carefully and follow the instructions. Get in touch with us and we’ll help with expert advice and the best solutions for your circumstances.

You may be asked to phone your lender to discuss the situation – this is a good opportunity to try to negotiate an arrangement that keeps them happy and keeps you in your home. Remember, repossession is usually a last resort.

Your notice of repossession may ask you to appear in court. While this may feel threatening, the court hearing is a chance to propose a payment plan with your lender. We’ll help you prepare for this and support you all the way. And don’t forget, you can also get free specialist advice form your local Shelter office.



RENT ARREARS AND EVICTIONS…

Your landlord can take steps to evict you if you don’t pay back your rent arrears or don’t leave the property by a specified date.

The local court will send you court forms and a hearing date. Usually, if you want to stay in the property, you’ll have to attend in person. Bear in mind that extra court fees may be added to your arrears.

At the hearing, a judge may allow you to stay in the property or give you a final date to leave. You may be able to ask the court to rethink, but for some tenancy types the court’s decision is final. If you don’t leave by the date the court dictates, the landlord can have you and your possessions physically removed.

If you’re living in the same house as your landlord and you’re behind with the rent, your landlord can end your tenancy without court action.

Get free, specialist housing advice from your local Shelter office and ask us for help with the right debt solutions for your circumstances.



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Mortgage arrears

If you’ve fallen behind with your mortgage payments, here’s a little bit of good news… in the UK, every mortgage lender must comply with the Financial Conduct Authority and treat customers fairly. Which means there’s no need to fear any heavy-handed tactics for getting missed mortgage payments out of you. Instead they’ll want to work with you to find a solution.

Repossession would be an absolute last resort – but it does still happen when people don’t co-operate.

As a general rule of thumb, here’s what to do…

  • Work out your budget – can you cut back anywhere else to help catch up with your mortgage payments?
  • Talk to the lender – keep them up to date on what’s happening and spell out that you’re finding a way to get up to date. Listen if they propose a payment plan.

And here’s what not to do…

  • Don’t ignore letters and calls
  • Don’t lie or mislead or hide any information
  • Don’t borrow more money to pay this off

Your lender might help by mentioning these solutions…

  • Switch to interest only – for a short time only this helps by reducing your monthly payment, but you’ll still need to repay the capital you borrowed down the line
  • Extend the term – borrowing for longer reduces your monthly payment
  • Take a payment holiday – have a break from payments for a few months although you’ll still need to make up for this at some point
  • Go for an assisted voluntary sale scheme – buys you time and gives you help if you decide you have to sell
  • Suggest Support for Mortgage Interest – if you’re on benefits the Government can help with your mortgage interest payments to tide you over

Remember you can always ask us for help with a BacktoBlack debt solution.



Get BacktoBlack. Talk to us today

Or, take your first steps to debt freedom
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Equity release

What is equity release? Imagine doing a sum that deducts your mortgage from the value of your home: that difference is the equity you ‘own.’ In other words it’s money you could ‘release’ from your home by either selling it, or by applying for an equity release loan.

Total value of your home today  –  mortgage  =  your equity (hurrah!)

For example:
£200,000 valuation  –  £40,000 mortgage  =  £160,000 equity

So in equity release, you take out a loan against the equity. It’s usually available to people aged 55 and over who may have substantial equity in their homes.

Sounds good? Possibly not. Never forget: the loan is secured against your entire home. So if you can’t repay the loan, you could lose your home.

When it may be a good idea is if you want to retire but can’t because of outstanding debts or a low pension. You could potentially use equity release to clear debts / fund your retirement. But whether this is a smart idea depends on the interest rate being offered and other conditions. You can take equity release as a lump sum or in regular smaller payments. The balance of the debt is paid off when your property is sold upon your death or when you sell the property and move into long term care.

Get in touch with us for expert, unbiased advice.



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with our online form

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Negative equity

Negative equity is the opposite situation to equity release. Instead of having money in the value of your home, you owe more on your mortgage than your home is worth. It’s like your home is overdrawn and in the red.

When does this happen? Usually three sets of circumstances create negative equity:

  • when interest rates rise dramatically
  • when your house drops in value
  • when you’ve missed many mortgage payments.

It shouldn’t be a problem if you can afford to pay your mortgage payments and catch up with any missed, and if you don’t need to sell your home soon. The housing market usually recovers after any dips in value, over months or years.

But if you need to sell up, you could be left short. That means you couldn’t repay your mortgage.

Here’s an example:

Your home is worth £125,000

Your mortgage (and any other secured loans) amount to £135,000
=
You have negative equity of £10,000

To sort out your negative equity you can either just carry on paying your mortgage and sit tight, or increase your monthly repayments if you can afford it, or pay a lump sum into your mortgage to bring things back into balance.



Get BacktoBlack. Talk to us today

Or, take your first steps to debt freedom
with our online form

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Rent arrears

If you can’t pay your rent it’s important to sort this out quickly. Get in touch with your landlord and try to arrange an agreement that lets you keep up with your normal monthly payment – plus a bit extra towards the arrears.

You could send them a copy of your budget. It really helps landlords to understand that you’re doing your best and paying the most you can manage. What if they don’t reply? It’s really vital to keep paying your rent and those extra payments too.

Remember, you have rights!

Rights differ depending on when you moved in, whether it’s private or social housing, and whether you rent the whole property or just a part. It’s often harder to stop eviction when you have a private landlord. You should already have a written tenancy agreement – check what it says. In most cases, you can’t be evicted without a court’s say-so.

Best thing you can do is contact your local Shelter housing advice charity who can advise you. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you find a housing solution.

If you have old rent arrears from a previous property, it’s less of a worry because you won’t face eviction. But you still must take steps to try to clear your debts – we can help.



Get BacktoBlack. Talk to us today

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