Facing financial difficulty
Please don't ignore the problem.
If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, there are a variety of options available that may ease your situation and ultimately help to resolve the issue. This section explains the things that you should consider and the actions that we'll take to help you.
- Call us on the appropriate phone number below as soon as possible:
- 0808 145 0437 - if you haven't yet fallen behind with your mortgage payments.
(Lines are open 8.30am - 7pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am - 1pm Sat)
- 0800 023 2679 - if you are already behind with your mortgage payments.
(Lines are open 8am - 7.30pm Mon-Fri, 9am - 12.30pm Sat)
Steps to consider
- Pay all your essential bills first, such as your mortgage, utility bills (electricity, gas, water), insurances, council tax and housekeeping. You should ensure that you pay these essential bills before making any payments towards credit cards or loans.
- Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help to increase your income.
- If you have an insurance policy, such as income protection insurance, check whether this could help with your payments.
- Seek debt advice, such as from Citizens Advice, Step Change Debt Charity or National Debtline if you'd like help with managing your finances.
- Make sure you keep all joint mortgage holders, and anyone acting as a guarantor on the mortgage, up to date with what is happening.
- Get back to us quickly if we try to contact you to discuss your mortgage.
If you've fallen behind with your payments - we'll do the following;
- If you’d rather not speak to us directly, you can ask us to talk to a friend or family member you trust. We can also talk to an agency which gives debt advice, for example Citizens Advice, Step Change Debt Charity or National Debtline.
- Complete a financial assessment. This’ll help us understand your situation.
- Attempt to arrange an affordable payment plan to repay arrears with you, taking both your interests and our responsibilities as the lender into account.
- Give you a reasonable period of time to pay back the debt.
- Offer to change the method by which you make your payments or the date on which you make them.
- See whether we can allow you to pay back your mortgage over a longer period of time to reduce your monthly payments.
You'll speak to our mortgage team who may be able to offer solutions suited to your personal circumstances. If we can’t offer you any of the options above, we’ll tell you why. If we’re able to offer one or more of them, we’ll explain how each option would work and give you time to consider it.
We would strongly advise that you seek independent, free, debt advice.
If we can't agree on a solution with you to clear your arrears, we may go to court to start proceedings to repossess your property. If proceedings take place, it is strongly recommended that you attend the court and that you seek independent debt advice.
The commencement of court proceedings does not necessarily mean that we will repossess your property. We will keep trying to solve the problem with you. Repossession is a last resort.
If your property is at risk of being repossessed, you should contact your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.
If your property is repossessed
- We’ll sell it for the best price we can reasonably achieve. We’ll try to sell it as soon as possible.
- We’ll give you reasonable time to take your possessions from your property.
- We’ll use the money raised from selling your property to pay all loans and charges secured by your mortgage with us.
- If there is any money left over, we will pay it to you as long as there is no money owing on a mortgage on the property with another lender, ranking after the one with us.
- If there is not enough money from the sale to pay off the entire mortgage, you’ll still owe us the amount that is left over (a shortfall debt). We’ll tell you what this is as soon as possible.
- We’ll refer any shortfall debt to a Debt Collection Agency who will try and contact you to arrange payment.
- If you bought your property with other borrowers, each of you will be responsible for all the money borrowed, even if you normally only pay part of the mortgage.
- If we can’t arrange a plan, we may go to court to recover the money, and you might have to pay additional court costs.
- We may register a Default on your credit file. This could affect whether you’re able to get credit in future.
If you think that we have not treated you fairly in dealing with any arrears on your mortgage, first please talk to us and let us know what the problem is. The chances are that your complaint can be quickly resolved by the manager of the area you are dealing with – so please contact them first.
If you’re still unhappy after going through the complaints process you can then refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (The Financial Ombudsman Service is only available once you have received the final letter of response from us, or if you have not received a final response after 8 weeks). The Financial Ombudsman Service provides a free and independent service for consumers, and can be contacted at:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
Telephone: 0800 023 4567 (free from a landline) or 0300 123 9123 (charged at the same rate as 01 or 02 numbers on mobile phone tariffs). Lines open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm Sat 9am-1pm.
Some companies may offer you new loans or even invite you to sell your property to them and then lease it back as a way of resolving your short-term financial difficulty. Please be careful, as such actions may not be in your long-term best interests. We advise you to seek independent advice before entering into any arrangement of this type.
You may be thinking about handing your keys over to us. If you do this, you will still owe Halifax any outstanding debt, and we advise you to discuss this option with us first before taking such action.