The cost of owning your home is getting more and more expensive with each passing day. With interest rates at an 18-year high (as of August 2023), and mortgage rates adding thousands of pounds to mortgages, making ends meet is as tough as it has been for a generation.
Whilst some are lucky enough to be able to ride this storm out, many are not. If you find yourself unable to cover the cost of your mortgage, the threat of repossession can cause panic to set in. But remember, you are not alone in this situation and there are many options open to you that could allow you to keep your home, or you could look to sell house fast to a house buying company like We Buy Any Home.
Understanding what repossession is and entails should be the first step, so you fully understand the potential issues and options open to you.
How long do repossession proceedings take?
Timelines can vary but typically, the duration for a home repossession in the UK ranges between five to twelve months.
The exact duration hinges on the nature and frequency of communication between you and your lender. Ignoring their initial outreach, such as letters, might hasten the repossession process. On the other hand, actively engaging with them and seeking a mutual agreement can extend the time before repossession occurs.
After the court issues a repossession order, there’s a designated period for you to vacate the property. This could be anywhere from twenty-eight to fifty-six days.
How can I stop my house from being repossessed?
There are several things you need to do short and long-term if you think you are in danger of repossession.
Prioritise your Mortgage and Engage with your Lender
One of the very first things, and obvious things to do is always settle your mortgage first before addressing non-essential debts, such as credit cards, store cards, and bank overdrafts. Make paying your mortgage your number one priority.
If paying the full mortgage isn’t feasible, pay what you can and engage with your lender and propose a repayment plan. Demonstrating effort can potentially slow down or halt repossession actions. Your lender should reasonably consider your repayment suggestions, allowing you sufficient time to execute them.
In your proposal for repayments, highlight:
- Reasons for the arrears
- Your repayment method
- Steps taken towards financial stability
- Any ongoing financial guidance
- Your projected repayment duration
Seek Financial and Debt Counselling
Should the threat of repossession loom, immediately seek financial and debt counselling. Such professionals can liaise with your lender, help you set a budget, and optimize your household revenue. They’ll know what to do and relieve the stress somewhat whilst exploring your options.
Consult a Legal Professional
Upon receiving any legal notifications or court dates, promptly consult a lawyer. They can explain your rights and strategize to safeguard your home.
Remember, a lender would much rather work out a new plan with you than go through repossession. The worst thing you can do is ignore the warnings and bury your head in the sand. Engage with them with professional assistance and do all you can to get back on track. Yes, you may need to pay for the advice, but is it more expensive than losing your home?
How common is house repossession?
Unfortunately, data shows that repossessions are on the increase across Swansea and the UK. In the first three months of 2023, over 1,000 residences in the UK faced repossession due to owners’ difficulties in managing their mortgage dues.
Reports indicate that 750 residential properties under homeowner mortgages were seized during the early months of 2023, marking a 50% surge from the last quarter, as stated by UK Finance, the representative body for the banking sector.
Furthermore, 410 properties under buy-to-let schemes were also repossessed, elevating the total to 1,160. The data also reveals an upward trend of homeowners lagging in payments, with 76,630 falling behind by more than 2.5% from January to March, a 2% increment.
The statistics underscore the pressures of the escalated interest rates in the recent period, combined with the mounting living expenses, weighing heavily on households.
How many missed payments before repossession?
Typically, missing payments for three consecutive months can set off alarms, though sometimes the grace period might be extended.
While lenders have the legal right to intervene from the beginning, many view the process of possession (repossession) as a last-ditch effort. Essentially, banks, credit unions, and other mortgage financing entities generally hesitate to move towards legal proceedings unless necessary.
Once a lender contemplates taking action, they must adhere to the mortgage arrears protocol. Lenders must stick to an established process and ensure the borrower(s) are kept in the loop. Moreover, these financial institutions should offer the borrower(s) a chance to remedy the situation before initiating repossession.
In the current scenario, lenders don’t immediately make a personal visit. The norm is to send a series of formal letters alerting the individual(s) about the impending issue and potential consequences. As per standard practices, borrowers are given a two-week window to address these notices. If, in the end, the overdue amount isn’t settled, the lender is likely to signal their intent to seek a possession order from the appropriate local court.
How We Buy Any Home can help
If you’re on the brink of repossession and seeking a solution, We Buy Any Home can intervene by buying your property in cash. This sell house fast method works if our cash proposal surpasses your outstanding mortgage amount. By doing so, we can halt the repossession process. Get in touch today, do not delay as the longer you leave things the harder things can become. We are ready and waiting for your call.