The number of older people falling behind with their mortgage repayments has rocketed in the past three years, according to debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS)
The charity has reported a 44% increase in over-60s contacting them for help with mortgage arrears since 2009, compared to all age groups where they have only seen a 3% rise in calls.
Arrears increasing despite low interest rates
Last year, 1,111 homeowners over the age of 60 contacted CCCS for advice on dealing with mortgage arrears, up from 769 in 2009.
Levels of debt in this group have also increased from £3,556 of arrears in 2009, to £4,375 in 2011 – a rise of 23% – with borrowers six and a half months behind with their mortgage payments on average.
What to do if you’re struggling with mortgage repayments
If you find that you’re unable to meet your monthly mortgage repayments, it’s vital that you speak to your mortgage lender immediately. Here are some of the key things to bear in mind when dealing with your lender.
- Be clear and straightforward
- Don’t ignore your mortgage lender’s letters and enquiries
- Remember that it is in your lender’s interests as well as yours to reach a negotiated settlement
- Write to your lender and provide financial details to reduce the likelihood of repossession. If the lender is unwilling to agree to your proposed repayment plan, it might still bring repossession proceedings, but you’ll be in a much stronger position when the case comes to court.