I am a single mother whose mortgage is 3 months in arrears

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My baby is 4 months old and I am on income support but won't be receiving help with the interest repayment from DSS until may 2001. My only option is to put my flat up on the market. Will I be able to negogiate the penalty charges with the mortgage lenders as the mortgage has only been taken out for a year.

-- Wai Ming Chan (mimeo8@aol.com), November 25, 2000

Answers

Hello

Sorry to hear about your problems. I would suggest that you see your local council housing office about rehousing first (and any housing associations in your area). I know they can be funny about homeowners moving into council accommodation, and if you sell your home they may consider that you're making yourself intentionally homeless.

You'll get a visit from the housing officer to discuss your situation. They'll put you in a "grade". Grade A being a priority case. I believe though that housing associations are less bureaucratic and you may have more luck there.

Also have a word with your social worker/midwife/district nurse, the fact that you have a young baby and have housing difficulties will make a difference and you may find that you'll get rehoused a lot easier with their help.

If you take out another mortgage, most lenders are happy to waive the penalities if you take out another product with them, if you don't then you have to pay the lock-in fees. But there is no harm in talking to them and see what they say, you're in somewhat different circumstances to others, you may find they are sympathetic, but anything they do agree to, make sure its in writing.

There's a lot of people you need to speak to, and you should do so as soon as possible, once you have some answer's you'll be able to see your possible options.

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), November 25, 2000.


Hi

Congratulations on the birth of your child. You must contact your lender ASAP and advise them of the situation and that you will be elegible for DSS in May 2001 they may be able to sort something out for you. Also with regard to benefits how long have you been on benefits as apparantly they can backdate your claim for housing interest assistance. i.e if you have been getting income support for 6 months you would already be legible for the housing side of things. Another point is go and see your CAB to make sure that you're getting all of the benefits that you are entitled to some of the ones to consider are:

Single parent benefit Family Allowance currently 15.00 per week Incapacity Benefit - not means tested and you can get up to 90 per week on top of your other benefits. Council Tax Benefit - keeps the wolf from the door

Please try to make your mortgage payment your priority, negotiate with your other creditors to reduce your outgoings and pay as much of your monthly mortgage payment as you can.

Best of luck

Jo

-- Jo (chrisbrad@zoom.co.uk), December 05, 2000.


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