Before addressing the problem of how to get out of negative equity, let’s first define exactly what that is.
You are in negative equity when you owe more on your home than the price at which it is now valued. If, for example, you paid £220,000 for a home now worth £150,000 as per current market values, the negative equity on that property is £70,000. If it’s of any comfort to you, you’re not alone. Far, far from it; negative equity is commonplace in Northern Ireland.
Almost certainly, those who bought during the property price boom when attitudes towards lending and borrowing were a lot more laissez-faire than today are in negative equity.
During those heady days, prices here sky-rocketed at a unprecedented rate. Conversely, they then crashed faster and more dramatically than anywhere else in the United Kingdom. Thus Northern Ireland has seen the best and worst of boom and bust. It’s not an enviable record, but it is a reality with which we must now live and deal.
The fact that so much money was loaned so readily by banks and building societies contributed massively to the subsequent crash. In truth it was an inevitability, a disaster waiting to happen. All of those homes bought at those inflated prices had substantial mortgages attached to them. That’s because in the days of ‘easy money’, 100% mortgages – and even greater, in some cases – were very common place.
So when, finally, the day of reckoning came, that created huge problems for anyone needing to sell because, for whatever reason, they required something bigger. Or smaller. Or – because, of changed circumstances in terms of their marital status or income – they are no longer able to meet their mortgage repayments, even though interest levels are still at an all-time low. How much more difficult is it going to be when, as it must, the interest rate starts to rise?
Even with a recovery of sorts having started, 63,000 houses in Northern Ireland remain in negative equity. That translates as 41%.
The price of houses in the mid-2000s grew at such an inflationary rate that they were never going to be sustainable. It was a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ the bubble burst.
In 2008, it didn’t so much burst as implode. And the resultant damage sucked tens of thousands of innocent people into a fiscal black hole from which they fear they cannot escape. But we have good news for them – they can!
There are solutions to negative equity. You can GET OUT of negative equity here in Northern Ireland.
So, just how do you come out of negative equity intact? Basically, there are two options – renegotiate your mortgage or sell.
Sell? How can you hope sell a property that is £50,000, £75,000 or £100,000-plus in negative equity? Isn’t that simply impossible? Calm down; proven, real-life negative equity HELP IS available.
Negative Equity Northern Ireland’s primary goal is to write off the maximum amount of debt on your property. To that end they have a team and a business ethos built around their customers. Their staff have years of experience in banking, property and finance. They understand how lenders think, how they operate and, crucially, what they will – and won’t – accept. Whatever your problem, experience has taught the NENI team that it probably is not insolvable. Almost certainly they can help you negotiate a positive future.
Contrary to what you may believe, almost certainly your problem is not unique; rest assured that NENI will have helped others just like you to reassess, renegotiate, rebuild and recover.
Okay, you say – but what about my negative equity mortgage? Surely there is no way out of that mess? Well, actually there is. Beginning to feel a little better now? Good.
If you are serious about laying new foundations, let’s call a spade a spade; with virtually no exceptions lenders will expect the property to be sold in order to resolve/settle the debt. Here NENI have a record second to none. Upon learning that, a second question invariably arises. It is this; after selling a property in negative equity, is it possible to settle the remainder of the debt and buy another property? The answer is yes, though exactly how quickly this can be done will depend on your lender, their attitude towards your circumstances regarding credit rating, deposit funds, exposure to other debt and income. Here, too, NENI can help and advise you start afresh.
But don’t take our word for it; see what others have to say based on their experience of inviting NENI to solve problems they had feared were beyond resolution.
Below are a few real-life examples of people just like you who needed help and found it. They, too, feared their particular difficulties were insurmountable. They, too, thought there was no future. They, too, believed they were beyond help because on-one else had a problem quite like the one they faced.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
The following are three true stories, though the names and addresses of the clients NENI have been able to help have been withheld. Their tales reflect the realities not only of what can go wrong, but, more importantly, how it can be put right.
Case A: A couple from Derry/Londonderry who purchased their home through a loan from Accord Mortgages at the peak of the property boom.
They were struggling financially after having two children. Negative Equity NI managed to write off 47% of their debt and together with a small lump sum payment and viable monthly instalments they have been able to move to a more suitable property, much better suited to their budget.
CASE B: Working parents from Bangor who had negative equity of £64k on their home which they had bought via a mortgage from Santander.
There was also additional unsecured debt. But with a second baby on the way they needed to move from their two-bedroom home. As a result of this change in the couple’s circumstances, NENI not only managed to arrange the sale of their house but also negotiated a lump sum payment plus monthly instalment payments. As a result, over £50k was written off.
CASE C: A woman with a home in Antrim came to NE NI in urgent need of help. She too had a mortgage from Santander but she and her partner were struggling to make payments on a house which was over £61k in negative equity.
The property, stuck in negative equity, was too small for the family’s needs and she had moved to rented accommodation whilst continuing to pay the mortgage. Tough, but they were coping, if only just. But when her employment ended, she was unable to maintain those payments. And because he was receiving only a nominal amount in Child Support and Child Benefit, her partner found it impossible to pay for the property on his own. NENI were able to step in and settle over 95% of the negative equity debt with a single small lump sum payment. That enabled our client to move on with her life in a more affordable and suitable property.
So whatever your circumstances, almost certainly we will have dealt with something comparable, We should be able to help you, too. To arrange a free-of-charge interview at which we can assess your needs and decide how best to go about meeting them, lift the phone and call us now: 028 9023 6074.