A local debt advice service says it has dealt with more than £1 million of mortgage shortfall debt in the Lurgan and Portadown areas in the last three years.
Despite claims of an economic recovery, since the start of the Debt Action NI project on 1st August 2012 to the present day, the Lurgan and Portadown advisers have dealt with over £1m of mortgage shortfall debt.
This equates to an average shortfall debt of over £86,000 per client.
Advice NI’s FREE debt service, Debt Action NI which has a Lurgan office at LIAISE, Mount Zion House, Edward Street, Lurgan, has expressed growing concern at the rapidly rising level of mortgage shortfall debt across Northern Ireland. Mortgage shortfall debt applies to anyone who has been left with a deficit in their mortgage after their home has been sold or repossessed. The charity has seen an increase of 24% since 2013 of mortgage shortfall debt with the combined figure rising to £44 Million across Northern Ireland, an average debt per client of £100,000.
The charity is also gravely concerned that the situation could get much worse if interest rates were to increase.
The charity urges people to seek FREE debt advice if they are in negative equity and are worried about managing their mortgage payments.
Jim McDowell of the Lurgan Debt Action NI office says: “Debt Action NI is deeply concerned at the rising level of mortgage shortfall debt. This difficult situation is made all the worse by the numbers of people highlighting how much difficulty they would find themselves in if interest rates were to rise. This is a ticking economic and social time bomb which we all need to be aware of. However, help is at hand.
We urge people to get in contact with the service if they are in negative equity and are struggling to pay their mortgage or if they have been left with a shortfall debt after their home has been sold or repossessed. Our service is free and our advisers are experienced with negotiating with lenders on a daily basis.”
He added, “There are a number of companies out there who are charging for this type of advice and in some cases clients are paying significant upfront costs with some being quoted fees of over £4,000. In difficult times, people should be aware that there is help at hand, which will not make an already difficult financial situation worse.”
If you are struggling to meet your payments or other debt please get in touch with Debt Action NI – Freephone: 0800 917 4607 Text ‘ACTION’ to 81025