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Facing Repossession? Don't Delay in Seeking Advice!

Since the property market crash, the number of home repossessions is eight times higher than it was in 2007. Northern Ireland has a much higher number of repossessions than the rest of the UK.

This is grim news indeed, but there has been some recent improvement. The number of home repossessions has decreased slightly in the last 15 months, and GDP attributes this decrease to mediation between bank and borrowers.

Stormont recently announced that its mortgage debt taskforce was increasing government-funded resources, promising that free advice services will be better targeted and better funded.

At GDP, we welcome any change that will help people in Northern Ireland overcome their debt challenges. However, the taskforce still warned that the impact of bank interest rates or welfare reform could see repossessions increase once more. This is something GDP are keen to avoid. In Northern Ireland, more people need to be educated around their options, especially as the threat increases.

Between 2007 and 2014, over 6,000 homes in Northern Ireland were repossessed by banks and building societies, according to figures from the Enforcement of Judgments Office in Belfast.  At GDP, we seek to prevent repossessions by helping clients mediate and negotiate with their lenders.

Any home repossession is a tragedy, but the number in Northern Ireland amounts to a crisis. As more and more people in Northern Ireland are affected by ongoing welfare cuts, mediation will continue to be crucial in preventing repossessions. Help is out there, and GDP is urging homeowners not to delay in seeking it. We encourage homeowners to mediate with their banks rather than simply handing over the keys. Borrowers need to act quickly and explore their options before they become a statistic.

If you are facing repossession or other debts, don't delay in getting professional advice. Don't wait for the banks to repossess your home.