"Mediation, Not Litigation"
Last week GDP's Equity Experts kept another two of Northern Ireland's families in their homes.
Our team mediated with the local lenders (in one case their solicitors) and prevented the repossession process in each instance being progressed.
Homes are repossessed by lenders when borrowers fall too far behind on their mortgage repayments but in my opinion repossession should always be a last resort. All other equitable and reasonable options should be explored in order to come to an agreement before putting a man, woman or child on the street.
This is where mediation comes in. It is important borrowers know this service is available to them in order to deal with their debts. The term "mediation" broadly refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach an agreement.
A mediation process involves voluntary participation from both parties, to put all their cards on the table, to find some common ground. The idea of, giving a little to get a little, in order to come to a fair, confidential and private agreement.
With a future interest rate rise on the horizon in 2015, now is the time for existing borrowers to put a plan in place and prepare for what is to come.
Recent stats from the Council of Mortgage Lenders confirm that continued low interest rates has contributed to less homes being repossessed. The worrying point of note in Northern Ireland is that there are still over 68000 people in negative equity and thousands more who have investment properties whom are falling behind with their payments.
The questions you need to ask yourself - will you be able to cope with your existing debts if they become unaffordable when rates rise?
If the answer is no - then you need to come and speak to the team at GDP to help you engage early with your debt provider in order to achieve a solution to this problem.