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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

Repossession

Regulations converting Support for Mortgage Interest to a loan have recently been passed. We take a look at how the new payments of SMI will operate for claimants.

Loans for mortgage interest

All payments of SMI made on or after 6th April 2018 will take the form of a loan.

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Benefits, Repossession, Welfare Reform, Affordability

Homeowners who receive government help with their mortgage interest payments are likely to suffer a financial blow when the amount they receive reduces.

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Benefits, Repossession, Welfare Reform

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is the collective name given to the financial help with mortgage interest payments which can be made to certain benefit claimants.  SMI can also help with the costs of certain loans secured on a property. 

SMI can be claimed by people who are in receipt of

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Benefits, Repossession, Welfare Reform, Affordability
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For many years, Housing Rights has provided housing advice to people entering and leaving custody in Northern Ireland’s three prisons. The housing advice in prisons project is funded by NIHE and the Northern Ireland Prison Service and is an essential way of preventing homelessness on release and sustaining tenancies for these vulnerable members of society.

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Benefits, Repossession, Social Tenancies, Homelessness, Adviser

Carmel Ferguson discusses an England & Wales Court of Appeal judgment which considered the question of when a residence should be treated as an individual’s principal home.

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Repossession, Case law, Legal

Housing Rights has been providing specialist advice to homeowners at risk of repossession for many years. One of the avenues open to certain people facing repossession is an argument that the loan they’ve entered into has created an “unfair relationship”. Solicitor Chris McGrath discusses how this argument can work as it is important that those advising in respect of mortgage lending have an understanding of the remit of the unfair relationship provisions

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Repossession, Practical tips, Case law, Legal

In recent years, the question of "proportionality" has increasingly been raised as a defence to possession proceedings.  Sarah Corrigan, an adviser with extensive experience in defending possession action, discusses the merits of acceptable behaviour contracts as an alternative to possession action and an effective method of dealing with antisocial behaviour. 

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Repossession, Social Tenancies

James* first contacted us in 2014. He called into our office after hearing about our Mortgage Debt Advice service from a friend.

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Repossession, Practical tips, Homelessness

In October 2016 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it was consulting on new guidance on the treatment of customers with mortgage arrears.

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Regulation, Repossession, Policy, Affordability

Housing Rights Policy Response FCA's fair treatment of mortgage customers in payment shortfall

Housing Rights broadly welcomes the Financial Conduct Authority’s response to this issue, which aims to provide a framework which lenders can use to ensure ‘fair remediation for customers.’ We welcome the FCA’s characterisation of lenders’ practices as ‘automatic capitalisation’, leading to customers making overpayments, and the recognition that this may have led to unfair customer outcomes. Housing Rights also welcomes the FCA’s statement that they ‘expect firms to put this right, and ensure the practice ceases.’

Housing Rights is pleased to offer several further comments on particular aspects of the proposed guidance framework, with the aim of ensuring that the framework fully provides fair remediation for affected customers.

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Regulation, Repossession, Policy, Affordability

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