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!

Could This Christmas Be When YOU Get Repossessed?

The Risk of Repossession at Christmas

Christmas is the worst time for anyone facing repossession. Not only does Christmas mean extra expense for everyone, but maintaining your family’s spending to keep up appearances can lead to disaster in January.

House Repossession

Is Your Home in 'Upside Down Negative Equity'?

There are some key risks to the Christmas period if you’re worried about repossession and keeping up your mortgage payments:

  • Extra spending on presents for family and friends
  • Extra use of credit cards or payday loans
  • More eating out or parties to keep up appearances at work
  • Fewer working days for most freelancers
  • A mortgage payment date over the holiday that’s easy to miss

Avoid The January Bill Shock That Could Lose You Your Home

It’s a very common theme every year when I speak to people in January as the heavier bills start arriving the week after New Year.

If you’re facing repossession over the Christmas period, then make sure you stick to any payment plan you have with your lender or the Court – especially if you have a suspended possession order already.

Find Out How to Stop Repossession Here

FREE Ultimate Stop Repossession Guide – Updated for 2013

We’ve compiled Your Ultimate Guide To Stopping Your Repossession.

This 50 page eBook is FREE for a Limited Time Only

You can get your copy by clicking on the image below.

Stop-Repossessions-Help_Guide

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

Sub Prime Lender Kensington Pulls No Punches in Home Repossessions

In the last few weeks we have had numerous calls from desperate homeowners who have gone to court to try and make an arrangement to pay off their mortgage arrears and ask the judge to suspend a possession order.
Kensington Logo
All of these callers have said the same thing.

The Judge asked the lender’s solicitors to speak to their client (the lender) to be lenient and agree a repayment plan. The answer comes back – a resounding ‘No’. The lender will only accept full arrears paid or repossesssion.

When asked the question ‘Who is your lender?’ the answer in 99% of cases has been Kensington.

Kensington are well known on the online forums for their heavy handed tactics and the huge charges they add as soon as a borrower misses a payment.

This sudden rise in calls for help regarding Kensington repossessions seems to suggest that maybe Kensington are looking to get as much cash back from their borrowers as possible before house prices (and their asset values) tumble.

After all, when faced between paying high inter bank interest for their money or bringing in cash from troubled borrowers via repossessions (and charging them high fees for the privilege) which would they choose?

The fact is that if you must borrow from a sub prime lender then read the small print carefully and make sure you can stick to the monthly payments – the consequences of not doing so are ever more likely to result in your home being repossessed.

Citizens Advice Bureau Claims Repossessions Lender’s Fault But Is CAB To Blame Too?

Reuters reported a couple of days ago that the Citizens Advice Bureau are claiming that UK home repossessions are dramatically rising due to the lender’s aggressive arrears recovery policies and brokers’ misselling.

Whilst both of these statements are undoubtedly true, and we have accused lenders of such practices on this very blog, the Citizens Advice Bureau also plays its part in homeowners being repossessed.

How so?

Well in a number of cases that have come to our attention, including ones we have been involved in, the CAB has advised homeowners facing repossession that they must surrender to their fate and let the bank take their home, rather than pursue alternatives such as a cash property sale or that bete noir of NGOs and the press, the sell and rent back.

Our fictional Mr & Mrs Smith have 4 months’ mortgage arrears, a court possession order, and bailiffs due to evict them in 10 days. Where to turn?

The Citizens Advice Bureau promotes itself as the place to go for impartial debt related advice. Mr Smith mentions that they are thinking about selling and renting back.

The CAB advisor warns them against this. They will be losing money. Their home is worth at least 20% more than the Smiths have been offered.

The Smiths are relieved to benefit from the wisdom of the CAB.

However, the logic of this advice is somewhat strange.

If a homeowner allows a lender to repossess they immediately lose all control over the sale price of the home, whereas with a cash property buyer, the owner is free to decide whether or not to sell at a discount in order to pay off his/her debts, once the property is in the hands of the lender the property will be sold (usually at auction) to cover only the mortgage debt of the first charge.

Most repossessions involve second and third charges for secured loans. These high interest rate sub prime lenders are not going to shrug and walk away.

The will chase their debts aggressively for up to 12 years.

Of course selling your home for a discount is not something to be happy about. But what are the real options? Homelessness and another 12 years of being pursued by your lender with interest and charges racking up?

With so many properties now being repossessed prices for repossessions at auction are once more becoming bargains. However, if the lender sells the property below the mortgage debt redemption figure, then the lender can pursue the previous owner for the balance of the debt.

If you compare this with the owner selling for a price to cover their debts and recover at least some of the equity in their home then the CAB’s blanket condemnation of cash property buyers makes little common sense.

We have come across a number of people who have taken the CAB advice to allow themselves to be repossessed rather than accept a cash offer. Once repossessed, the person taking the advice is then not only homeless (and depending on their situation) with little chance of the local council rehousing them, but without any funds with which to rent in the open market.

Selling to cash buyers and sell to rent schemes may not be the answer to everyone facing repossession, but the attitude of the CAB seems to be a very middle class and patronising hair shirt ‘you’ve made your financial bed now lie in it a while’ coupled with sheer horror that a third party might make money out of somebody’s repossession situation.

Well, the banks, especially the sub prime lenders are making a lot of money out of repossessions with massive fees and penalties, the victims are ending up homeless when the options of selling at a discount and moving on or renting back their homes and getting their lives back together are simply not open for discussion by CAB advisors.

But at least the staff at the CAB can sleep well knowing that no property investors have made a penny from our Mr & Mrs Smith (who tonight may be sleeping in a council run B&B on the wrong side of town…)

Divorce & Repossession – How it Can Affect You

This week we had a call from a concerned mother in Nottinghamshire regarding her daughter.

Married with 2 children, the daughter’s husband had not only moved out of their home but had also stopped paying their mortgage payments for over three months, which triggered the inevitable repossession threat and legal letters from their mortgage lender.

The daughter, “J”, was extremely concerned because she believed that her husband had the right to sell the property to a cash property buyer without her consent.

Of course, where the house title on the Land Registry and the mortgage are both in joint names, both sides need to agree to a sale before it can take place.

This does bring its own problems as fighting over the matrimonial home can be as bad as the fight over the custody of children.

Divorce & Repossession - How it Can Affect You

We advised J to inform her lender of the situation, and that she wished to remain in the home with her children, and to ask the court to make a judgement to allow her to stay in the home and to force the husband to contribute to the mortgage payments.

Unfortunately, this is just one more area where although the law does provide for these conditions, the time scale or funds available to take legal action can be out of step with the lender’s actions to repossess the house. It’s important in these situations to document all your actions and attempts to sort out the problem so if it does end up in court, you can show that you have made a serious attempt to reach a resolution.

In all cases you should take legal advice and basic advice for divorce and the home can also be found on the UK Shelter website.

If you are facing similar circumstances then please feel free to contact us directly