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My partner has been made redundant and has fallen three months behind on the mortgage. The mortgage company have advised him to sell the property as they aren't willing to help with the payments. Can anyone tell me how many months behind he has to fall before they can repossess and if he can offer to sell the property now to stop this happening. Thanks Cheryl
-- Cheryl Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 29, 2003
I don't think there is a set period before the lender will repossess, this is down to the individual lender. You say your partner has been made redundant, if your partner is on benefits he may be able to get help paying the mortgage interest and avoid repo, see: http://www.ivillage.co.uk/pregnancyandbaby/parent/financepreg/articles /0,9547,14_158360,00.html
I know it's not the case but if the lender decides to go ahead with court action and won't give your partner permission to sell the property privately, he may be able to get an order from the court postponing the eviction to give him time to sell the property. He will have to give the court a reason for stopping the eviction. If he has a buyer, he may be able to argue that the lender is being unreasonable and that he is more likely to be able to clear his debts if he sells the property himself. This is usually the case, because many lenders sell repossessed properties as quickly as possible, rather than waiting for a better offer, and in many cases, they sell properties at auction.
Don't forget there are lots of costs involved in selling (and in buying somewhere else if he decides to do so). He will have to pay some of the costs involved before the sale is final.
If he is on income support or income based jobseekers allowance, any money he gets from the sale after the mortgage has been paid off may be counted as capital, and his benefits reduced or stopped. It would still be important for him to inform the Benefits Agency when he sells the property. If he doesn't, he will probably have to pay back any benefits that he wasn't entitled to.
I think it would be a good idea for him to contact the council housing department as well, they may be able to help you stay in your home if you are in danger of losing it. If they can't help Social Services may be able to.
Hope this is of use, Good Luck.
-- M Amos (email@example.com), March 30, 2003.