Halifax & morgage arrears Advice Please

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A relative of mine is nearly 3 months in arrears with her Halifax morgage. For her 'credit card debts' she has an account with Bains & Ernst who deal with those, but the morgage isn't included (Halifax won't allow it as it's already extended 'til she's 70 odd.) Halifax have told her to speak to one of their 'debt councillors' which sounds like bad news to me - pre reposession order stuff. I've offered to move back & pay a 1/3 of the morgage directly to halifax & she is trying to secure herself a better job. My main worry is she is going to get 'spooked' into paying more than she can afford via this 3rd party caller (she's told if she misses the call she will be fined 25) She pays 20 a month for her other debts to be managed already & she's under the impression these new councillors ARE the halifax, so she'll tell them everything unless I can find an alternative soon. my cash imput must count for something! I don't think they'd let her sell the house as it's in need of a fair few repairs - is there an agency out there that could manage all her debts including the morgage ?

Is there a legal agreement I could make with them to prevent the worst outcome (i.e reposession) ????

-- Milly (linkyjinx@yahoo.co.uk), June 08, 2004

Answers

The Halifax are very unlikely to go for a repossession on 3 months mortgage arrears. They are under a duty to contact the borrower and offer advice and make arrangements to pay the arrears back at an affordable rate and this is why a counsellor will be contacting your relative.

By all means help your relative as you can, but you are not party to the mortgage agreement and therefore cannot make any arrangement which would preclude Halifax from taking possession proceedings if the arrears reached the point at which they feel they have no alternative - that point varies with each circumstance and each lender.

If Halifax did take your relative to court, they would be extremely likely to end up with a suspended possession order with your relative being given time (as much as the remainder of the mortgage term under the "Norgan" rules if need be) to clear the arrears so long as the future monthly dues are met in addition. However, it is best to avoid letting it get this far if she can.

Your relative should write down her income and outgoings in readiness for the phone call and stick to what she can afford rather than allow herself to be bullied into an arrangement with Halifax that she cannot keep.

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), June 08, 2004.


Thanks

-- Milly (linkyjinx@yahoo.co.uk), June 08, 2004.

Milly

If you are going to give them details of expenditure/outgoings I would strongly advise you go to your nearest Citizens Advice Office. A mistake many people make is to underestimate your outgoings which results in people overcommitting themself financially.

It's important to account for :

Home insurance (even if you don;t actually have it) Travel expenses to work and if you have kids include their bus fares and allowances for things like lunches. Also allow for things like the children's after school clubs etc. This might seem trivial but they do all add up.

Your nearest CAB will probably have a drop in service...go first thing before they open so you are first in the queue...usually it is impossible to phone them as they are too busy/understaffed to answer the phones. They will help/support you wherever possible. And remember it is all FREE. They provide debt management services FREE that many companies charge a fortune for.

Good luck

Moira

-- Moira (Anderston828@aol.com), June 11, 2004.


Thanks Moira

From what I've been told, my relative has given them (Halifax & B&E) every bit of information they asked for. Her house insurance,current account, mortgage & credit cards were all through Halifax. She's a non-paying member of the household (25 year old son) has started to contribute some rent (for this week only so far)fingers crossed, this has given him the push (that's been long over due) as to the seriousness of the issue - with my contribution AND his, the mortgage arrears problem, will be resolved.

-- Milly (linkyjinx@yahoo.co.uk), June 11, 2004.


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