How do I deal with my mortgage lender?

Summary: This article explains how to approach a mortgage lender if faced with difficulties with the repayments, as well as what information to provide.

When faced with potential mortgage arrears, the first action anyone should take is to contact their mortgage provider. The first step is to establish who any correspondence should be addressed to, and this information can usually be found on any letters or statements recently received from the lender.

Will my mortgage lender offer any solutions to help if I am struggling to pay?

It is unlikely a mortgage lender will offer any suggestions initially to the individual, not least due to the fact they may not have all the information to be able to help. Therefore, the first contact should be made from the individual in writing to the relevant individual. It is not only important to explain the situation, but also offer some suggestions as to how you may be able to repay any potential arrears. For example, an individual may have recently been made redundant, but is actively looking for work. They may also have some form of mortgage protection insurance, and this should be highlighted to the mortgage lender in the letter, along with a rough timescale if known.

Should I suggest a repayment plan?

As above, the lender will require as much information as possible in order to help if they can. Therefore, a complete breakdown of the reasons to falling behind with repayments will be required. If the individual knows they are coming into money in the near future, this should be highlighted. It may be that there is equity in the house, depending on the amount; some could be released to repay the arrears. If it is possible, the letter should contain details of how long it may take to repay the arrears, if additional monthly repayments are being suggested (it is important that any additional monthly repayments are realistic and fall within the individuals budget). Giving as much information as possible, as well as a proposed payback plan will show the mortgage lent there is a commitment to repay, and they will usually be far more sympathetic. It may also be worth considering getting independent advice from a licensed money advisor.

My mortgage lender is not willing to help, despite me sending a letter.

According to the Citizens Advice Bureaus website, if a mortgage company is initially not willing to help, it may be worth discussing matters with a more senior member of staff, such as a supervisor or manager. Whatever the initial outcome, the individual should try to continue with the repayments to the lender, no matter how small. Evidence of any repayments should be kept, along with copies of all correspondence. Should the mortgage lender submit a claim for possession of property, the judge may agree to a suspended possession order, whereby the individual may stay in their home provided a repayment schedule is kept.