And put bluntly, a property in negative equity is a liability rather than an asset. Thats not at all what you envisaged when, full of optimism and brimming with positivity, you bought your dream home. But sadly, it is your current reality. Of course, this is only a problem if YOU NEED TO SELL your home or ARE UNABLE to maintain your mortgage repayments. If that is not your position, youre not affected. Provided you are happy to be there and can afford the mortgage you dont need to go anywhere. Just sit tight and enjoy what you have.
Unfortunately that is not an option for a great many people. And since you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are one of that sizeable number. It may be that you have outgrown your home as a result of having had children. Or you may have divorced or are in the process of divorcing for which reason you now need to sell the home you once shared so that you can move on with your life. Maybe your work circumstances have changed, resulting in a reduced income and, with that, real difficulty in paying your mortgage. Or perhaps you are now middle-aged parents whose offspring have grown up and flown the nest to set up homes of their own. Or you could be the surviving partner following the death of a spouse.
There are any number of perfectly valid reasons for wishing or needing to upgrade or downsize. But negative equity is making that very difficult. Impossible, even, you may fear.
Now it is true that things may well change. But even if they do, it will be a long time before house prices return to anything like the sort of levels they reached in 2006-07. So if, as of now, the amount you owe to the lender who provided your mortgage is greater than the price your home would fetch were you to put it on the open market, you have a debt problem. Such property debt is commonplace as a result of house prices having rocketed to record highs in the mid-2000s before crashing equally spectacularly in 2008. The graph for UK property prices shows a line which rises like a vertical take-off F-35B Lightning II fighter and then plummets like stone dropped from the top of a high-rise block of flats.
And although things have begun to improve, property debt or negative equity continues to affect a huge number of people in Northern Ireland. Some 63,000 households, which translates as 41%, are trapped. Add mortgage debt, too, and for those affected the quagmire simply deepens.
If you are one of those currently unable to sell your home because it is in negative equity. or if due to a change in your circumstances – you are struggling to make your monthly mortgage repayments, you need help. Now. Urgently. Because not to put too fine a point on it, you have problems. Serious problems, yes. But and here is the difference serious is not the same as insurmountable, insoluble or impossible. Got that? YOUR SITUATION CAN BE REDEEMED, you can be rescued to start again, your life is not over.
That's why a few paragraphs earlier – we asked you to read on!
Okay, so now you have the reassurance of knowing that there are negative equity solutions and mortgage debt solutions. Already things are starting to look better, yes? Good. But you also need to know that those to whom you might now entrust your financial survival are reliable, trustworthy experts.
Make this your starting point in deciding to seek help: are those to whom you are looking endorsed by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)? If not, walk away from them now.
Why? For the simple reason that there is too much at stake to entrust it to anyone who does not meet the very highest standards and is not regulated, monitored and overseen by – and answerable to – independent scrutineers who leave no stone un-turned in checking that everything is done properly.
Bona fide experts will have credentials and records to confirm their status rather than mere patter and idle boasts meeting such standards. And you can rest assured that they will have solved bigger and more complex problems than any you are likely to present. Thorough knowledge of the day-to-day workings of the property marketplace, the money go-round that is central to its working and the laws relating to both, coupled with them having the total respect of lenders and the solicitors who represent those banks and building societies are these experts hallmarks.
Initially the first meeting is totally free of charge – they will sit down with you and assess your position; your property's value, your income, assets, outgoings and debts, in order to establish exactly what it is you hope to do. Then, armed with that information, they will offer advice as to your options. If you decide to proceed, you and they will agree on a viable, realistic means whereby your goal(s) can be achieved. They can help you sell, they can renegotiate your mortgage with the lenders, they can arbitrate on your behalf in wiping out tens of thousands of pounds of debt.
But from start to finish the process is wholly dependent on your and their total honesty and integrity. That is the only way to come up with a valid proposal for there is no magic-wand-waving-formula, nor are there any pie-in-the-sky answers to problems. There are properly worked out answers which enable you to solve your problems and get on with living again, free of the worry and stress of debt – possibly for the first time in years. It is important that you remember you are not to blame for the unsustainable rise in house prices a decade ago, or for the inevitable fall which followed, resulting in negative equity. You are an unfortunate victim of circumstances which you played no part whatsoever in creating.
Irresponsibility on the part of lenders who handed out mortgages – often in excess of 100% of the value of the property played a huge part in what went wrong. And the role of speculators whose involvement forced property prices to sky-rocket was another major factor. With so much money so readily available at affordable interest rates, Joe and Joan Public entered the melle by opting to get on or climb up the property ladder. Reckless lending led to mortgage repayment problems and arrears, ultimately resulting in the near-collapse of global banking following the crash of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. In truth, the recovery in the aftermath of that is on-going rather than being anywhere near complete.
Was the mortgage you were sold the best one for you? Were there not better options? Do you have mortgage problems as a result?
Certainly there were cases in which mortgages were mis-sold and Negative Equity UK's team of experts will examine that possibility when they examine your case history. If you were sold an interest-only deal, you certainly need the advice and help of experts at this stage. So why struggle on alone with a problem you almost certainly cannot solve? It would make a lot more sense to turn to results-proven experts who pride themselves on their ability to find solutions for ordinary, decent people who, through no fault of their own, are deeply ensnared in debt, hugely stressed as a result and wondering what fate awaits them. Contact the Negative Equity UK team now!