The following scenarios provide some idea of how we can help and when a referral for more specialist advice might be needed.
If you own your own home and are paying a mortgage:
Scenario 1 – Perhaps everything was going well until you were made redundant from your job. Missing one mortgage payment can be easy to ignore in the hope that you will find work soon. Picking up the telephone and talking to your mortgage lender can seem like a daunting prospect but it’s best to contact your lender as soon as you have mortgage payment problems. Don’t wait until your mortgage arrears become unmanageable. Your lender may be more helpful if you tell them about problems early on. There is some excellent advice from Shelter here.
Scenario 2 – If you are having difficulty communicating with your lender, they are not being very helpful or there is the threat of court action, this might be where a referral to Shelter Helpline Plus is appropriate. One of our Welfare Officers would take some details about your housing situation and send them over to our partners. A Shelter adviser would then contact you and might negotiate with your mortgage lender on your behalf including providing letters in support of you remaining in your existing accommodation. This might also involve helping you to put together an affordable repayment plan as well as advice on debt and claiming any benefits that you might be eligible for.
Scenario 3 – You can still try to resolve your money problems if your mortgage lender has started court action. A Shelter advisor could support you to apply to the court to suspend/postpone a possession order and/or warrant and prepare written submissions to the court on your behalf. Support would always be based on the best specialist housing advice, what you wanted to happen and the resources available to you.