Are you struggling to meet your mortgage repayments?
At CHL Mortgages, our customers come first. So, if you’re concerned about your ability to meet your mortgage repayments, we want to help.
We know that recent developments around Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be concerning and causing disruption to your daily lives. We are committed to treating our customers fairly and will look at each person’s individual circumstances.
It’s important that you contact us as soon as you realise you may experience problems making your monthly payments. The sooner you talk to us, the sooner we can try to agree a suitable arrangement.
Please read the information below carefully before choosing how you wish to proceed. You can request help from us:
- By completing this online form
- By completing a paper form and mailing it to us
- Or if you would prefer to talk to someone – by calling our Specialist Servicing Team on 03330 148 048 (9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays)
You may feel you are able to deal with your own debts without needing full debt advice. We suggest you visit the Financial Conduct Authority ‘Dealing with financial difficulties during Coronavirus ’ page and work out a budget. The Money Advice Service has also produced an online tool ‘Money Navigator’ to help people who have seen their finances affected by Covid-19. The aim of the tool is to signpost the best organisations to contact for specialist support.
For most people, it makes sense to pay essential expenses and priority debts before any discretionary expenses or non-priority debts. To support with this, you can use guides such as the Money Advice Service ‘How to Prioritise your debts’ page. It is a good idea to contact all your creditors to discuss repayments.
For more information on independent financial and housing advice, please click the link here.
Here are some of the questions that our customers often ask us when experiencing financial difficulties:
What will CHL do?
- Consider your individual circumstances.
- Talk to an agency which gives debt advice, such as the Citizens’ Advice, if you want us to.
- Give you reasonable time to pay back any unpaid amounts.
- Contact you if you miss a payment to discuss any problems.
CHL mortgages may also be able to:
- Arrange a new payment plan with you. It is important that you tell us if there is a change in your circumstances that may affect the arrangement.
- Allow you to pay back your mortgage over a longer period to allow payments to be reduced.
- Change the type of mortgage you have.
- Agree to an arrangement whereby some or all of the outstanding arrears are effectively added to the remaining mortgage balance. This may increase your monthly payments and the overall costs of your mortgage.
If we cannot offer you any of these options, we will tell you why. If we can change our arrangements with you, we will explain how it will work and give you time to consider it. If we cannot offer any of these options, we might agree to you remaining in the property to sell it yourself depending on your circumstances. We would strongly recommend that you seek independent, free, debt advice.
What can you, the mortgage holder, do?
- Tell us as soon as possible if you think you are going to have problems making your mortgage payments or making the full monthly mortgage payments.
- Seek debt advice if you would like help with managing your finances and before you change your mortgage arrangements.
- Return our call quickly if we try to contact you.
- Keep to the payment plan we agree, or tell us if there is a change in your circumstances which may affect the arrangement. If you do not make the agreed payments, we might have to take legal proceedings to get back any money you owe us, or to repossess your property.
- Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help to increase your income.
- Tell us if you move to a new address.
What will happen when I call you and what information will you need?
When you call, a member of our experienced team will talk through your income and spending. So we can get a clear picture of your financial situation, please have the following information to hand – you should be able to find it all on your mortgage paperwork, bank statements and payslips or self employed equivalent.
- Your Mortgage Account Number
- Your monthly income (including any benefits, overtime or bonuses you’ve received) and how this has or will be impacted by coronavirus.
- Your monthly household spending (including all of your bills and expenses)
- The number of organisations you owe money to and the amount you owe
- Details of any other outgoings
Once we’ve got those details, we’ll be able to help you get your finances back on track and support you through the process if you want.
What options and arrangements are available?
We can help you in lots of ways. You can look at taking a payment holiday, changing your payment date, paying back the money you owe over a longer period of time or only in part for a set time, to help you get back on track.
We can work out which options are available to you depending on your circumstances and the terms and conditions of your mortgage with us, so you can pick the right option for you.
Will missing a mortgage payment or arranging an arrears repayment plan affect my credit file?
If you miss a payment on your mortgage, we may report this to the credit reference agencies and that could affect your ability to get credit in the future.
If you’re on a mortgage arrears repayment plan, this will show on your credit file. You can get a copy of your credit file from one of the credit reference agencies.
If you were on a planned coronavirus mortgage payment holiday, however, your credit file would not have been affected during the payment holiday period.
What types of arrangements could be made and how are they reviewed?
We will do everything we can to help you keep your home/property. We will talk to you to get a better understanding of your problems which may involve making an arrangement according to your current circumstances.
This arrangement may mean you making the full monthly payment plus an amount towards the arrears that you can afford.
It could also mean making lower payments than the full monthly payment for a set time if we can see that you cannot afford to pay the full monthly payment. Where you make lower payments, the difference will be added to the arrears and be charged interest at the same rate as the loan.
We will review your financial position regularly.
During the time you have an arrangement with us, and you keep to the agreed payments, we will treat you fairly by not adding any arrears charges to your account.
If you are selling the property to repay arrears, we will ask that you provide documentary proof that your property is being sold for a price that is achievable in the current market. Your Estate Agent should be able to write and confirm this for you. We will also need your solicitor’s details and we can then keep in contact with him to make sure the sale is progressing.
What are the additional costs and charges?
If you are in arrears, we may charge you for reasonable administrative and legal costs. We will tell you the amount you will have to pay.
What happens if CHL cannot contact you and/or agree on a solution?
We may send a Field Manager or Debt Counsellor to see you to discuss your financial circumstances. This will give us a better understanding of your problems and help us put a suitable arrangement in place with your agreement. Charges may apply for these visits, in line with your Mortgage Terms & Conditions and our Tariff of Mortgage Charges.
If your mortgage with CHL is for your home we may go to court to start proceedings to repossess your home. We strongly recommend that you seek independent legal advice as soon as possible and that you attend any court hearings.
Starting court proceedings does not necessarily mean that we will repossess your home. We will keep trying to solve the problem with you. Possession is a last resort.
Before we repossess your home, we will give you information about getting in touch with your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.
If your mortgage with CHL is a Buy to Let we do not have to go to court to appoint LPA Receivers, again this is an action of last resort.
What happens if we repossess your home?
We will consider whether selling the property is the best option to keep your debt at the lowest possible level and this may involve appointing a Receiver of Rent.
If the decision is made to sell the property, we will market it as soon as possible for the best available price.
We will give you reasonable time to take your possessions from your home. We will use the money raised from selling your home to pay your mortgage and any other loans or charges against the property. If there is any money left over, we will pay it to you.
What happens if we appoint LPA receivers on your Buy to Let property?
- We will appoint LPA receivers to manage the property and collect income.
- The receivers will make all decisions regarding renting or selling the property.
- The receivers will protect your interests and those of the tenants.
- The receivers will remain in place until the property is disposed of in the future.
What happens if your home does not raise enough money to pay off the mortgage?
If there is not enough money from the sale to pay the whole mortgage, you will still owe us the amount that is left (a shortfall debt). We will tell you what this is as soon as possible.
If you bought your home with other borrowers, each of you is responsible for all the money borrowed. This is true even if you normally only pay part of the mortgage. We will contact you as soon as possible after the sale of your property to arrange for you to pay back what you still owe.
We will take account of your income and outgoings when we arrange a payment plan for this shortfall debt with you. If we cannot arrange a suitable plan, we may go to court to get our money back. You might have to pay additional court costs.
If a shortfall debt is not paid, it could affect your credit record and whether you are able to get credit in future.
If you have had a Buy to Let mortgage we may obtain a charge against your home or other assets. If you do not make an arrangement to repay the shortfall debt, we could take repossession proceedings against your home.
Should I use a “rent-back” scheme?
Some companies may 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 interest. We would advise you to seek independent advice before entering into any arrangement of this type.
Should I use a “mortgage rescue” scheme?
Mortgage rescue schemes are for home loans only with strict criteria. You should enquire through your local authority to see if you are suitable for such a scheme.
Can I just hand back the keys?
If you do this, you will still owe us any outstanding debt and the interest will continue to be added plus any costs involved in management or disposal of the property. Please discuss this option with us or an independent legal adviser before taking such action.
Where can I get independent advice and other support?
There are a number of organisations that you can contact who provide free, confidential, impartial advice and support including:
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): For Its dedicated advice on mortgages, insurance, personal loans and overdrafts, and stay aware of any possible impact coronavirus could have on your money, visit https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/dealing-financial-difficulties-coronavirus
Money Advice Service: For free, easy-to use money tools, information and advice, visit https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/money-navigator-tool . Their debt advice locator tool provides a list of agencies who provide free and impartial debt advice https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/debt-advice-locator. You can also phone 0800 138 7777 to speak to a money expert, use typetalk at 18001 0800 915 4622, or add +44 7701 342744 to your Whatsapp to send a message.
Citizens Advice: For advice and information on debt and other topics, contact your local Citizens Advice or go to https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
Citizens Advice Scotland: For advice and information on debt and other topics, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, go to https://www.cas.org.uk, or call the Helpline on 0800 028 1456.
Citizens Advice Wales: If you live in Wales, visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales, or you can call Advicelink on 03444 77 20 20 if you want to speak to someone about your debts. Calls cost the same as calls to the landline numbers.
AdviceUK: Member centres offer debt advice including specialist advice for minority communities and people disabilities. Visit https://www.adviceuk.org.uk.
National Debtline: If you live in England, Wales and Scotland phone 0808 808 4000 or visit https://www.nationaldebtline.org.
StepChange Debt Charity: For free debt advice throughout the UK phone 0800 138 1111 or visit https://www.stepchange.org.
Business Debtline: If you are self-employed or a small business owner, phone 0800 197 6026 or visit https://www.businessdebtline.org for debt advice and information.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP): For free debt advice. Check post code coverage at https://www.capuk.org then call 0800 328 0006.
Payplan: It offers a variety of assistance including free debt management plans, alongside other debt solutions such as individual voluntary arrangements phone 0800 280 2816 or visit https://www.payplan.com