Talk to us
If you are worried about how you will manage your finances, or require debt advice please talk to us. We can offer you free independent advice, even if all of your debts aren’t with us, and offer you the best chance of avoiding debt problems in the future.
Alternatively, we have provided some guidance further down the page to help you manage your finances, or what to do if you have missed a payment on your mortgage.
Working with The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) to support our Members - The PACE project
In June 2020 we partnered up with The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) to help support our members who feel they are struggling with debt to receive trusted and free customer advice – the PACE project.
This new process means we can refer anyone requiring debt advice directly to MaPS and arrange a call back from them at an agreed time, or as soon as 30 seconds after the call with the us ends if you wished.
If you would like to speak to a member of staff for more information please call our team who can refer you today.
Managing your finances
Below is some useful information on understanding your financial situation, steps you can take to manage it and organisation which offer free help and advice.
1. Understanding your financial situation:
You should work out how much your payments are and whether you have fallen behind on any. To do this, you will need to make a list of all of your payments.
Understand which of your debts are priority debts. Some debts will be more urgent than others, because the consequences of not paying them can be more serious than for other debts. These priority debts may include:
- mortgage or rent
- council tax
- gas or electricity arrears
For more on this, see the Money Advice Service ‘How to prioritise your debts’ page.
You might wish to use a tool such as the Money Advice Service ‘Online budget planner’, or a tool provided by a debt adviser.
2. Steps you can take to manage your financial situation:
If you are worried about being able to make future payments, it’s important that you contact us. We will be able to talk to you about options for changing how or when you pay your mortgage.
If you find it hard to keep up with payments, or if you are already having trouble managing your debts, you should seek free help and advice. Your rights and options depend on the type of agreement you have, and the law can be complex. However, you can get free independent help and advice from a number of organisations – see below for details.
3. Organisations that offer free, confidential and impartial debt advice:
- Money Advice Service: For free, easy-to-use money tools, information and advice, visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk. 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
- Money Advice Scotland: If you live in Scotland, visit www.moneyadvicescotland.org.uk where you can use webchat to speak to an adviser, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Citizens Advice: For advice and information on debt and other topics, contact your local Citizens Advice or go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk
- Citizens Advice Scotland: For advice and information on debt and other topics, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, go to www.cas.org.uk, or call the Helpline on 0800 028 1456
- Advice NI: If you live in Northern Ireland, phone 0800 028 1881, email email@example.com or visit www.adviceni.net
- Citizens Advice Wales: If you live in Wales, visit 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 landline numbers
- AdviceUK: Member centres offer debt advice including specialist advice for minority communities and people with disabilities. Visit www.adviceuk.org.uk
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP): For free debt advice. Check post code coverage at www.capuk.orgthen call 0800 328 0006
- National Debtline: If you live in England, Wales or Scotland phone 0808 808 4000 or visit www.nationaldebtline.org for debt advice and information
- StepChange Debt Charity: For free debt advice throughout the UK phone 0800 138 1111 or visit www.stepchange.org
- Business Debtline: If you are self-employed or a small business owner, phone 0800 197 6026 or visit www.businessdebtline.org for debt advice and information
- Civil Legal Advice: You may get legal aid if your home is at risk. Check at www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice or phone 0845 345 4345
- Financial Ombudsman Service: If you have a complaint that you can’t resolve with your lender, the Financial Ombudsman Service may be able to help – phone 0300 123 9123 or 0800 023 4567 or visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Missed mortgage payments
If you have missed a mortgage payment, or think you will struggle to make future payments, please contact us immediately.
There are many ways we can help which are laid out in full in the Society’s Code of Practice for Mortgage Arrears which is available to download from the documentation library, or a printed copy is available upon request from the Financial Support Team.
To find the most suitable option for you, an in-depth examination and analysis of your individual circumstances and needs will be carried out. In the course of these examinations the completion of an income and expenditure form and further evidence such as bank statements and pay slips may be requested.
Options which may be available to you:
• Change of payment date and method
• Change of mortgage type
• A reduced payment (Concession)
• An increased payment (Arrangement)
• Extension of term
You should always remember that legal action is a last resort. However, if we agree a way forward and you do not maintain the monthly payments agreed, we may be left with no option but to commence proceedings to take possession of your home.
If we take this course of action, we will advise you to contact your local authority to discuss rehousing with them.
Arrears charging policy for missed payments
Most of our borrowers make their repayments on time. We believe it is fair that if you do not make your repayments on time, you pay part of the cost of our arrears administration. We may therefore add an administration charge to your account for each month that you are in arrears.
If we add fees to your account, we will charge interest on this amount from the day we added them.
It is our aim to help borrowers who are in genuine difficulty. You should contact us as soon as possible if you are having problems making your monthly repayments. We will not charge our standard fee if we have agreed other repayment arrangements and you are keeping to this arrangement.
In the unlikely event that we need to apply to the courts for possession of your property, we will charge a fee to cover the administration cost of doing this.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments on your mortgage
If we can't agree on a solution
- We will send you a letter advising that we will take legal action to collect the arrears or take possession of your home and give you fifteen working days to contact us
- If no response is received, our solicitors will send you a letter giving you a further 7 days to get in touch to discuss future payments to your account.
- If you do not get in touch or we can’t agree on what payments you need to make, an application for a court hearing will be made, when you are informed of a hearing date, we strongly recommend that you attend the court in person and that you seek independent debt advice.
- Starting court action does not necessarily mean that we will take possession of your home. We will continue to try and resolve the problem with you. Taking possession of your property is as a last resort.
- Before we take possession of your home, we will give you advice about getting in touch with your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.
- We will give you reasonable time to remove your belongings
- We will put it up for sale as soon as possible
- We have a duty to get the best price for your property that we can
- When we receive the money from selling your property, we will use it to settle any outstanding debts such as legal costs, outstanding mortgage, including any costs, interest and possession administration fee. If we are aware of anyone else who has lent you money and has a mortgage on your property, they will receive any money that may be left over after our loan has been repaid. If having done this, there is anything left; it will be paid to you.
If you do not think we have treated you fairly, you can complain to our Director and Chief Executive.
If your complaint is not dealt with to your satisfaction, you may take it to the Financial Ombudsman. The Financial Ombudsman Service provides a free and independent service for consumers, and can be contacted at:
Financial Ombudsman Service
Telephone No: 0300 123 9 123 or 0800 023 4567