Introduction to Mortgage Arrears
Mortgage arrears are amongst the hardest debts to deal with. Mortgages by their very definition are loans that are secured on the value of your property. If you fail to make the necessary payments, then the lender is entitled to take the property and sell it in order to settle the debt. This will result in alternative accommodation having to be found and worse still, the sale of the property may not even cover the debt, leaving you with a shortfall.
When are Mortgage Payments in Arrears
Every mortgage provider has its own definition and requirements for mortgage arrears. It is also worth bearing in mind that it does not have to be a mortgage debt that puts a property at risk. Any loan that is secured on a property could result in repossession. For example, a debt consolidation loan that is secured on a property offers a better interest rate, but the danger still exists that the property will be taken if the debt cannot be met.
Be clear about the terms and conditions attached to your loan or mortgage. Some T & Cs, for instance, will allow the lender to repossess the property after only three consecutive months' payments have been missed; others will state that you cannot be late on more than six payments in a year, before you are considered in arrears.
Other Issues with Arrears
Further issues that may arise from mortgage payments in arrears include not only repossession but also the ongoing implications for your credit rating. Having a mortgage default on your record can seriously damage your credit rating and you may be unable to find a suitable mortgage, in the future. If you are facing the possibility of repossession you can speak to specialist mortgage brokers who may be able to assist with a ‘repossession remortgage’.
Once debtors are in the situation whereby they have extensive arrears, it can prove very difficult to regain ground, as additional payments will have to be made to cover the previous missed payments. For this reason, it is always better to deal with financial difficulty BEFORE an arrears situation actually occurs.
Many mortgage companies offer payment breaks or reductions in payments for a period of time to assist with unforeseen situations. By making this sort of arrangement, your credit rating will not be affected and you will not be at immediate risk of repossession.
Mortgage arrears simply mean that mortgage payments have not been made when they were due;
all lenders have slightly different terms and conditions for determining when a mortgage is considered to be in arrears;
typically, after approximately six months of failed payments, you are at risk of repossession;
arrears will also have a negative impact on your credit rating with the knock-on effect that you may be unable to obtain mortgages in future.