Stop Repossessions Org UK Sees Rise in Negative Equity Repossessions

As 2008 marches on and the global and economic situation looks ever more bleak, so are the tales we are hearing from UK homeowners facing repossession.

Back in 2007 a rough estimate would be that 70% of those people who contacted us by phone or email had some difficulties with their mortgage repayments, were in arrears but were also in a position to:

a) Repay the arrears over a given period either by direct agreement with their mortgage lenders or by a court judgement.

b) Remortgage with a new lender in order to get a fresh start with a new payment record appearing on their credit score

Fast forward and now it is rare that we are hearing from people who have enough extra monthly income to repay their arrears over time and many lenders (especially the sub prime) are refusing to accept repayment plans to pay off morgage arrears.

The majority of people contacting us are now also at the start of the negative equity trap.

The true and actual cost of their borrowings, (which consists not just of the amount borrowed but also the huge penalties, legal and court fees and Early Redemption Penalties), have risen dramatically, whilst the value of their homes is in many cases starting to stagnate, if not fall.

A homeowner who previously remortgaged their £200,000 home with a 90% mortgage (£180,000) and who has either added a secured loan (say £10,000 – new total £190,000) or had a County Court Judgement for unpaid credit card bills of a similar amount, and who has an early redemption penalty of say £7,000, may be mortgaged to £197,000.

One missed mortgage payment and not only can the interest rate rise dramatically so that monthly costs are hugely increased, but legal fees and punishing penalty fees will be also be added.

Suddenly we could be looking at redemption costs of over £200,000.

Sell the house?

Not always possible.

Estate agents will charge a minimum of 1%, more if you go with multiple agents. That’s at lease £2000. Legal fees and the Government’s ridiculous HIPs pack will add another £1500.

It’s now going to cost £3,500 to sell the home and get nothing in return.

But it doesn’t stop there.

If you remortgaged before the Northern Rock crisis hit in September 2007, then the chances are that your lender was giving signals to surveyors to over value properties.

The market is always rising so why not let them over value your home and then lend you more money in return for more profit?

By the time you may be in trouble house prices should have risen by enough to bring down your mortgage level to less than 100% – just in case they need to repossess.

But the reality is that homes are now only selling if the price is right.

Now it’s a buyer’s market again.

Houses which comfortably sold for £200,000 back in 2007 are now sticking in agent’s windows at £189,000.

Suddenly it could cost you as much as £10-20,000 to buy your way out of repossession.

But who is going to lend you the money to pay the costs?

It is not going to happen.

If you do have equity in your home then you do have options to avoid repossession find out here

Beware Sell & Rent Schemes Offering 100% of Your Property Value

We’ve been so busy since the New Year dealing directly with those facing repossession that there has been no time to update this blog.

However, a recurring theme of many conversations with those facing home repossession has been ‘Should I deal with Company X who are offering me 100% of the value of my property?’

The answer is NO! It can only be no!

Sell and rent back schemes can sometimes offer an answer, but the companies who offer to pay 100% of the market value for your home are hiding something very important.

The reality is that you will sell your home for as little as 50-60% of it’s value and be left homeless, if not sooner, then certainly later.

How come? Surely if they pay 100% that’s what I’ll get?

Again the answer is NO!

These companies will pay you at the point of sale 50-60% of the value of your property. Very often this is just whatever it takes to pay off your mortgage redemption figure.

They will promise that you will receive the remaining 40-50% in 5 years’ time (one company we heard of was quoting 10 years) PROVIDED that you remain renting for that whole period.

‘Fine’, we hear sellers say, ‘we want to sell and rent back for years.’

Only there is a HUGE catch.

Anyone who thinks that these property buyers will ever pay them the remaining 40-50% is dreaming.

Legally, all the landlord has to do is terminate your tenancy agreement (or put up the rent to a point that you can’t afford to pay and stay) BEFORE the 5 or 10 years is up, and then you will no longer qualify for the final payment.

The result? You have sold your property for very little today on a promise of more tomorrow, and that ‘more’ will never materialise.

So what is the alternative?

If you are considering a sell and rent back option you need to evaluate what you are being paid today for your home.

  • Does it cover your mortgage?
  • Does it leave you with any cash left over?
  • Is the rent affordable?

The only guaranteed thing when you sell your home to rent it back is the price you are paid today.

Avoid any scheme that promises to pay you more in the future!