Mortgage difficulties

Mortgage payments are priority debts and should always be paid first. If you are having problems paying your mortgage there are a number of services and schemes available to help.

The most important thing to do is to take action as soon as possible and not ignore any problems you may have. If you have received a possession hearing notification then please note that there is a court desk advisor at the county court, who can represent you at the hearing.

Local Advice Services:

Citizens Advice Bureau

National Advice Services:

The website for the homeless charity, Shelter, contains information on what to do if you are faced with repossession.

Schemes to help you manage your mortgage

Mortgage Breathing Space

A temporary measure, following a change in circumstances such as redundancy or ill health. Help can be provided through an interest free secured loan to pay off mortgage arrears. The loan may also provide ongoing mortgage installments for up to 12 months.

The Mortgage Breathing Space can be used to provide financial help with arrears and ongoing payments for secured loans. The amount available is between £2,000 and £15,000. Payments are made direct to your lender.

Anyone who takes out a Mortgage Breathing Space loan does not have to repay any monthly installments, during the 3 year loan period.

  • there are no fees or set up costs
  • the loan is interest free
  • the loan is fully repaid at the end of the 3 year period so that we can offer help to other households

Breathing Space allows you time to consider your longer term options, such as re-financing/re-mortgaging your home or selling at a realistic market price.

To qualify for help your mortgage and secured debts plus our loan should be below 90% of the value of your home. Anyone can apply as there are no house value restrictions. For more information and details of how to apply, please contact the Housing Options Team on 01423 500600.

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)

If you are claiming certain benefits, you may be able to get help with your housing costs, including mortgage interest and interest on loans you have taken out for repairs or improvements. This type of help is often referred to as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) or Income Support Mortgage Interest (ISMI) payments. This is administered by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Should you need further advice on this, contact Harrogate Borough Council, CAB or Shelter, or visit the National Debtline website.