What if you can't make your repayments?
If you are having trouble making your mortgage repayments, we will try to help. This page explains how we will treat you fairly if you are in arrears with your mortgage, and what steps you can take to help yourself. It also provides useful information if you are concerned about falling behind with your mortgage payments.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
What we will do
- Contact you at an early stage to discuss your problem in writing and, where possible, by phone, so that together we can agree how we can help you.
- Listen to your needs and try to arrange a new mortgage payment plan with you, taking your financial circumstances and our interests into account.
- Give you reasonable time to pay back any missing payments and only start proceedings to repossess your home as a last resort, when all other reasonable options have been exhausted.
- Provide you with details of organisations who can give you debt advice (for example, Citizens Advice Bureau ) and talk to them if you want us to.
Get extra help
- Above all, please talk to us. You may be able to change the way you make your mortgage repayments, or the date you make them during the month (although the contractual payment date will remain unchanged).
- You may be able to pay back your mortgage over a longer period (which would reduce your monthly payments, but increase the overall cost).
- You may be allowed to pay reduced payments or just the interest payments for a period (which would reduce your monthly payments, but increase the overall cost).
We will do our best to come to an appropriate arrangement with you. If we can do so, we will explain how it would work and give you time to consider it. If we cannot offer any of these options, we will tell you why. Depending on the circumstances, we may agree that you can remain in the property to sell it yourself.
How to help yourself
- Tell us as soon as possible if you are having problems repaying your mortgage or think that you may soon experience problems.
- Seek debt advice if you would like help with managing your finances.
- If we try to contact you please get back in touch with us quickly.
- Make sure you keep any other people paying the mortgage, and anyone guaranteeing the mortgage, up to date with what is happening.
- Keep to the payment plan we agree with you, or tell us if there is a change in your circumstances which may affect the arrangement. If you do not make the agreed mortgage payments, we may have to go to court to get back any money you owe us, or to repossess your property.
- Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits that could increase your income.
- If you have an insurance policy, check whether it would help with your mortgage payments.
- Tell us if you move to a new address
You may want to talk to a professional adviser, such as a debt counsellor or a lawyer, before you change your mortgage arrangements. We strongly advise that you seek independent, free debt advice.
If we can't agree
- We may send a debt counsellor to see you to discuss your financial circumstances. The cost of the visit will be charged to your mortgage account.
- We may go to court to start proceedings to repossess your home. 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. We will keep trying to solve the problem with you. Possession is a last resort.
- If, as a last resort, we do repossess your home, we will give you advice about getting in touch with your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.
If we repossess
- 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 to pay your mortgage and any other secured loans.
- If there is any money left over, we will pay it to you.
If this doesn't raise enough
- If there is not enough money from the sale to pay the whole mortgage, you will still owe us the amount that is left (a shortfall debt). We will tell you what this is as soon as possible.
- If you bought your home with other borrowers, each of you is responsible for all the money borrowed. This is true even if you normally only pay part of the mortgage.
- We will take into account your income and outgoings when we arrange a payment plan for this shortfall debt with you. But if we cannot arrange a suitable plan, we may go to court to get our money back. You may have to pay additional court costs.
- If a shortfall debt is not paid, it could affect whether you are able to get credit in the future.
How to make a complaint
If you do not think we have treated you fairly, you can find out
How to complain
If your complaint is not dealt with to your satisfaction, you may then take it to the Financial Ombudsman. The Financial Ombudsman Service provides a free and independent service for consumers. Find out How we respond to complaints .
Costs and charges
If you are in arrears, we may charge you for reasonable administrative and legal costs. We will tell you if there are any charges or costs that you will have to pay.
You can download a copy of our current tariff of charges 210 KB 1
Other issues to consider
Some companies may offer you new loans or even invite you to sell your property to them and then lease it back as a way of resolving your short term financial difficulty.
Please be careful, as such actions may not be in your long term interests. We advise you to seek independent advice before entering into any arrangement of this type.
You may be thinking about handing your keys over to us. If you do this, you will still owe us any outstanding debt, and we would advise you to talk to us before taking such action.
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