Don’t Trust Your Lender!

Repossession House Keys

When your lender is putting pressure on you to pay off your arrears, don’t agree to a plan that doesn’t work for you and your family.

Never ever agree to pay your bank more than you can afford – either today, or on a payment plan and make sure you get every single agreement in writing.

IMPORTANT TIP: Sometimes the bank will refuse to put these agreements in writing. Instead they say something like ‘I’ll make a note on the system’. Well, in that case write to your bank with a description of your call, what was discussed and what was agreed.

The chances are the bank will not respond, but take that to a Judge and the Court will be more likely to side with you and grant you more time.

Get your free Stop Repossessions Guide Here – Updated for 2017!

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Alistair Darling to Stop Rent Back Evictions

The Guardian reported an interesting article on sell and rent back and repossession this week:

Owen and Moira Martin are among the many British victims of companies offering controversial sale-and-rent-back deals. Their three-bedroom maisonette in Plymouth was repossessed last month because the company with which they had entered into an agreement never paid the mortgage, even though it had pocketed about £45,000 in fees from them.

Such horror stories have prompted the government to consult on how best to regulate the estimated 2,000 or so companies in the UK offering such schemes.

‘It’s been devastating,’ says Owen Martin, a supermarket worker, who has had to move into a privately rented two-bedroom flat with his wife. ‘We made sure the rent was paid, but we lost our home anyway because the company we sold to never paid the mortgage company.’

The Office of Fair Trading estimated in its recent report into the sector that some 50,000 sale-and-rent-back transactions had taken place. Operators offer to buy the property of someone facing repossession at a discount price, allowing the former mortgagee to remain in the property as a tenant. They usually also charge significant fees.

Read the full story at the Guardian website

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/nov/09/rent-back-evictions

Now There’s Even a House Prices Crash Calculator

After years of talking up the property boom and the ‘you can’t lose with property’ articles in the media, the newspapers are now full of doom and gloom about the future of UK house prices.

The reality may be that a housing market depression may be caused by nothing more than the fact that we all start to believe that house prices will fall, we don’t put our houses on the market and we don’t try to move home.

This means that house prices will fall and those affected most will not be those who can ride out the storm and stay put in their homes, but those who are facing repossession.

This Is Money the website arm of the London Evening Standard have even published a price crash calculator so that if you aren’t scared enough already, you can truly frighten yourself into worrying about what your house will be worth if prices fall the same way they did in 1992!

The threat of negative equity however is now a very real one and millions of people will find it impossible to refinance their mortgages and will be forced onto their lenders’ top standard variable rates.

Does Alistair Darling Want You To Be Repossessed?

Maybe the Government, along with the usual middle class do gooders at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Shelter actually want you to be repossessed and lose your home?

Surely, that can’t be right?

Yet the Scottish newspaper the Sunday Herald Reports today the following:

“Prompted by concerns raised by Citizens Advice, Shelter and the Council of Mortgage Lenders, chancellor Alistair Darling announced last week that he has asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate potential consumer detriment in the sale-and-leaseback market.

A spokeswoman for the Council of Mortgage Lenders said: “While we welcome the review, it is disappointing that no immediate action will be taken to regulate sale-and-leaseback schemes.

“Homeowners in difficulty may currently be considering selling their property through these schemes at a discounted value, without an independent valuation of their home, and with no real security of tenure.”

Whilst it is true that there are some rogue rent back traders out there (especially those offering to pay 100% of market value who in reality keep at least 40% back for many years), this Government is expert in knee jerk politics.

So many of the laws that have been passed since Labour came into power seem to be a reaction to scare stories in the tabloids.

The reality of the sell and rent back scenario is that it gives homeowners a last resort to keep their homes when all else has failed.

If the Government legislate against that last resort because a powerful lobby of middle class people feel that that they need to legislate against other people having the right to sell their homes for less than market value in order to stay in them, the outcome (like that of many of their policies) will be exactly the opposite.

CAB and Shelter may talk the talk but they won’t offer you a home when you are repossessed and evicted.

As for the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) – well who do you think supplies the financing and re-mortgaging for sell and rent back companies?

Is Alistair Darling (or any other of the wealthy Islington-ite Labour Government) going to provide you with a nice Council House or put you to the top of the housing list when you are repossessed?

I think we all know the answer to that one.

If you are thinking of selling and renting back make sure that you do the research and ask for references from other sellers when dealing with a rent back buyer.

Facing Repossession? Don’t Borrow More Money!!

There are many websites out there that promise to help you avoid repossession byborrowing more money!

If you truly are facing repossesion then borrowing your way out of trouble is the recipe for disaster.

This is because if you have mortgage arrears or a possession order against your home from your mortgage lender or a second charge loan company, no one is going to lend you money at a lower interest rate than you are currently paying. If they do, it will be for a limited time before massive interest rates kick in.

This means that you will almost certainly lose your home. If not today, then in the coming months as you struggle to make even higher payments.

Most of the loans available to people in your position are on  a variable interest rate. The Bank of England rate may go down, but these companies are not linked to the Bank of England interest rate, so you will probably find their rates going only one way – UP!

Any solution to stop repossession of your home MUST also help to get you out of debt, not further into debt.

For repossession solutions and help in reducing your liabilities with credit cards and other unsecured debts contact us via our website Stop Repossession Org UK

Real Life Repossession Cases – Mrs B vs Kensington Mortgages

In order to help other home owners who are facing repossession, we are going to start posting actual cases.

These will be based on situations faced by people who have contacted us but of course, names and identifying information will remain hidden.

Case #1

Mrs. B
Location: Wakefield
Value of Home: approx £500,000
Total Mortgage: £108,000
Lender: Kensington
Second Charge: None
Loan Arrears: £24,000

Mrs B contacted us after receiving a Bailiff’s Warrant for Possession from her local county court on behalf of her lender, Kensington.

She had followed standard procedure to ask the court to allow her to pay her substantial arrears over 2 months. For this she used the Court Form N244. Because her court was busy the judge could only hear her case late on Friday morning, repossession by bailiffs was set to take place at 11am on Monday.

Normally, if a homeowner asks the court to help agree a repayment plan with their lender the judge will recommend that the lender accepts the plan and will suspend the repossession.

However, the judge can only suggest this to the lender.

In Mrs B’s case, the judge took on board the extenuating circumstances (serious illness in the family, coupled with a very low mortgage compared to property value and no other lenders involved) and urged the lender’s solicitors to ask them to accept the payment of £24,000 arrears over a 2 month period.

This is a large sum of money, but also a very short repayment period for the lender to agree to, and Mrs B was able to show that she could make these payments.

However, the lender refused the Judge’s recommendation and stated that only arrears payment in full before the bailiffs arrived on Monday would be acceptable. This was lunch time on Friday.

Unfortunately, Mrs B didn’t contact us until late afternoon on Friday.

If she had contacted us earlier we would have been able to arrange a cash buyer for her home with an option to buy it back later. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to even get ID documents to a solicitor before the repossesion was to take place on Monday morning.

To make matters worse, Mrs B had made a payment of £5,000 on the Friday morning, which instead of being money she and her family could use to find rented accommodation after the bailiffs repossessed her home, would only slightly reduce the overall amount owed to her lender, especially once the lender had added on its legal fees, penalties and costs of selling her home at auction, probably with a very low reserve just to cover their costs.

If you even think you might be facing a similar situation in the near future, seek advice now, because like Mrs B, you might believe that just paying arrears when you go to court will be enough to stop your lender from repossessing your home.

Increasingly, lenders are unwilling to accept arrears repayment arrangements because they fear that by not repossessing today and getting their money back, that your property may not be worth enough to cover your mortgage and loans if there is a property crash.

For more information on the repossession process visit our website Stop Repossessions Org

Is Sell and Rent Back The Right Option For Me

When Sell and Rent Back is not an option

One of the questions we get asked most is ‘Is Sell and Rent Back and Option For Me’?

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The answer really depends on a number of circumstances and every situation is different, but generally speaking sell and rent back options are not feasible for those whose properties are worth £300,000 or more.

We have seen a massive rise in those seeking help to stop repossession whose properties are valued at over £300k.

For sell and rent back options to work, the buyer must be able to charge a rent that covers the cost of financing their mortgage.

With interest rates currently at around 6% for Buy to Let mortgages, this means that for every £100,000 that the buyer needs to mortgage, he or she must pay £600 pcm in mortgage interest. For a property over £200,000 this already equates to a rental figure of over £1200pcm.

Even if you might be prepared to pay £1200pcm now (and it may seem attractive if you are currently paying a lot more in servicing your debts), but the problem is that market rents in most areas of the UK are nothing like that amount. The average UK 3 bed semi may be worth £200k on the open market, but rental averages are probably more like £650 pcm.

This means that market rents are out of sync with property values. No investor can afford to buy a property and rent it back to the previous owner unless the rent covers the cost of their buy to let mortgage. No lender will lend against a property for a buy to let mortgage unless it believes the rent will cover the cost of the buyer’s interest payments comfortably.

For most lenders this means 125% coverage. For example is the interest was £1000pcm, the market rent must be at least £1250pcm otherwise they will not lend against the property.

For those who are facing financial difficulties with properties over £300k the obvious option is to sell on the open market and realise the best price.

Sometimes it might be possible to enter into a sell and rent back option providing the seller has enough equity in the property to allow a sale at a much lower figure, with an option to buy it back at a discount at a later stage.