We understand that there are many circumstances that could affect your ability to pay your mortgage - losing a job, a reduction in income because you have a baby, leaving a job to be a full time carer.
If you’re having payment difficulties, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. A mortgage is a loan secured on your home or property, which means it is at risk if you do not keep up repayments. The sooner you get in touch, the easier it will be to try and find a solution.
If you’re in arrears, struggling to keep up with your mortgage payments, or think you may have difficulties in the future and would like to discuss your mortgage affordability, please get in touch. We're here to help in any way we can.
We comply fully with the Financial Conduct Authority rules governing arrears and repossessions, and are committed to being fair in all our dealings with any customer who is in arrears or has a mortgage shortfall debt.
We want to help you in every way we can. If you’re having difficulties we will:
- Contact you as soon as you miss a mortgage payment via phone or letter
- Talk to agencies who give debt advice and are acting on your behalf if you want us to (e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau)
- Give you a reasonable timeframe for you to pay back the debt
- Only start proceedings to repossess your home or property as a last resort if we cannot solve the problem with you first.
We may also be able to:
- Arrange a realistic and affordable payment plan with you that takes into account your financial circumstances and our responsibilities as a lender
- Change the way, or the date on which you make your mortgage payments
- Allow you to temporarily increase your mortgage term for an agreed period of time which will reduce your monthly payments (but may increase the total amount that you pay back)
- Allow you to temporarily pay just the interest payments on your mortgage for an agreed period of time, which would reduce your monthly payments (but may increase the total amount that you pay back).
If we offer you one or more of the above options, we will explain how they work and give you time to consider them. If we are unable to offer you any of these options we will explain why.
- As soon as you have trouble or think you may have trouble making a mortgage payment, it’s important that you contact us on 0800 169 9722* (Monday to Friday 9am – 8pm. Saturday 9am – 11:45am) to discuss your situation – remember we want to help
- Review your finances to see if you can reduce any non-essential expenditure to allow your monthly mortgage repayments to become more affordable. The Money Advice Service’s budget planner calculator could help with this
- Use our budget planner to help you prioritise your essential expenditure
- Get in touch quickly if we try to contact you – don’t ignore the problem
- Keep anyone else equally responsible for the debt, or anyone guaranteeing the mortgage, informed of what’s happening
- Keep to the repayment plan we agree with you. If you do not make the repayments we may go to court to get back the money you owe us or to repossess your property
- Check whether you’re eligible for state benefits or tax credits
- If you have mortgage payment protection insurance, check whether it would help with mortgage payments.
Before changing your mortgage arrangements, you may wish to talk to a professional adviser, such as an independent financial adviser or lawyer. We would strongly advise that you seek independent and free debt advice.
We offer a number of tools that may be of use, if you are struggling to keep up your repayments.
Use our budget planner to help you list and add up all your household income and expenses, this will enable you to:
- Work out how much money is coming into your household
- Work out how much money is going out
- Work out affordable amounts to repay arrears and creditors.
If you are having problems paying your mortgage, send us a completed copy of the budget planner, including your payment proposals, at the following address: Mortgage Collections Department, PO Box 3191, 1 Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 9HY.
Online debt counselling tool
Step Change Debt Charity has an online debt-counselling tool, where you can obtain expert debt advice specifically tailored to your personal circumstances. It is completely free and anonymous.
Costs and charges
If you are in arrears, we may charge you for administrative and legal costs. We will inform you of any charges or costs that you will have to pay. Please see our Tariff of Mortgage Arrears Charges (PDF) for details.
If we can’t agree a solution
- We may send a Field Agent to meet with you to discuss your situation. The cost of the visit will be charged to your mortgage account.
- We may go to court to start proceedings to repossess your home or property. 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 or property. We will keep trying to resolve the matter with you - repossession is a last resort
- Before we repossess your home or property, we will give you information about getting in touch with your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.
If your home or property is repossessed
- We will sell it for the best price we can reasonably get. We will try to sell it as soon as possible
- We will give you reasonable time to take your possessions from your home
- We will use the money raised from selling your home or property to pay your mortgage and any other loans secured on it
- 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 pay off the entire mortgage, you will still owe us the shortfall debt. We will tell you what this amount is as soon as possible
- If you bought your home with other borrowers, each of you is responsible for all of the money borrowed. This is true even if normally, you only pay part of the mortgage
- We will take into account your income and outgoings when we arrange a payment plan with you for the shortfall debt and you might have to pay the court costs.
- Not paying off the shortfall debt could affect whether you are able to get credit in the future.
How to complain
If you do not feel we have treated you fairly, please take a look at the details on our complaints policy.