Support for customers in payment difficulties

We are ready to support our customers and will work with you if you are having trouble paying your mortgage.

What shall I do if I am having trouble paying my mortgage?

The earlier you contact us, the sooner we will be able to help. If you think you may be facing payment difficulties, do not put off contacting us, even if you are up to date with your payments.

Speak to us before you cancel any Direct Debits, as these may result in missed payments, which will be reflected on your credit file.

You can contact us in different ways, including via the Engage Credit Online Customer Portal, and calling or by writing to us, using the information on the Contact Us page.  Please also refer to any letters that you may have received.

What information will you need?

We will need some details to identify you and your account(s). It is really useful to have your account numbers to hand when you contact us. These can be found on your mortgage statements, any letters you have received from us, or in your account overview in the Engage Credit Online Customer Portal.

We may also ask you some questions about your income and outgoings to understand your financial circumstances. Use our Income Expenditure Form to help you gather the information you might need to provide ahead of speaking to us.

What can Engage Credit do to help?

Where you require help in making repayments, we will look to offer you what is called ‘tailored support’. This means it will be focused on your individual circumstances and what you can afford to pay. You will never be asked to pay more than you can afford. Where possible, we will look to agree a form of support with you before it is applied to your account.

You may be offered one of the following, depending on your circumstances:

  • Part payment plans
  • Mortgage term extensions
  • Temporary transfer to an interest-only mortgage
  • The addition of what is owed to the total mortgage balance (known as capitalising).

We will explain the options available and what the tailored support would mean to you, including how any arrangement will be reflected on your credit file.

How you can help yourself:

  • Contact us as soon as possible if you’re having problems repaying your mortgage or think that you might experience problems in the future.
  • Seek free, independent and impartial advice (see here for more details).
  • Contact us quickly if we try to contact you.
  • Make sure all parties to the mortgage and anyone guaranteeing the mortgage, are kept up to date with what is happening.
  • Keep to the payment plan we agree with you, or tell us if there is a change in your circumstances which may affect your ability to keep to the arrangement.
  • Check whether you are eligible for any state benefits or tax credits which could help increase your income or otherwise improve your financial circumstances.
  • If you have an insurance policy, such as a payment protection policy for example, check whether it can help with your payments.
  • If applicable, ask us for an agreement to rent out your property.
  • Let us know if you are in the process of selling your property.
  • Tell us if you move to a new address and provide us with an up-to-date telephone number to make it easier to contact you.

I have received a letter telling me that my house may be repossessed, what can I do?

Repossession of your property is a last resort and will only be taken if we cannot agree a payment arrangement with you. So it is important that you contact us as soon as possible to discuss options. Even if we start court action, it does not necessarily mean that you will lose your home, we will keep trying to solve the problem with you. 

If tailored support is exhausted, we will seek to resolve the case through alternative means, including informing you about voluntary sale and rehousing options. It is important to take independent debt advice.

For buy-to-let customers, we may use a Receiver of Rent, where appropriate, which could allow the tenant to remain in the property if they are maintaining rental payments.

We will aim to engage with customers who are not in contact with us and have not been paying their mortgage for some time, via letters or phone calls.

It is important that you contact us to discuss your options. You may contact us at any time in this process to talk through the options available to you.

If we cannot agree a solution:

  • We may send a Field Agent to see you to discuss your financial circumstances. The cost of the visit may be charged to your mortgage account.
  • We may start court proceedings to repossess your home. If proceedings take place we strongly recommend that you attend court and that you seek independent, impartial advice prior to the hearing.
  • Starting court proceedings does not necessarily mean that we will repossess your home. We will keep trying to contact you by telephone and by letter to try to reach an alternative solution. Repossession is the last resort.
  • If repossession is unavoidable, we will give you advice about getting in touch with your local authority before the eviction to see if they can find you somewhere else to live.
  • In the event repossession occurs then we will sell the property for the best price we can reasonably obtain within a reasonable period of time.
  • We will give you reasonable time to remove your possessions from your home.

If selling your home does not raise enough money to pay off the mortgage:

  • You will still owe us the amount that is left over (a shortfall debt). We will tell you what this is as soon as reasonably possible.
  • If other borrowers are party to the mortgage as well as you then each of you is responsible for all of the money borrowed. This is true even if you normally pay only part of the mortgage.
  • We will contact you within six years of selling the property (five years in Scotland) to arrange for you to pay back what you still owe.
  • We will take account of your income, outgoings and any other assets when we arrange a payment plan with you for this shortfall debt. If we cannot arrange a suitable plan, we may go to court to get our money back. You may have to pay additional costs as a result.
  • If a shortfall debt is not paid, it could affect whether you are able to get credit in the future.