How Many Months Mortgage Arrears Before My House is Repossessed?

When you fail to pay your mortgage bills for more than one month you are classified as being “in arrears” on your mortgage payments. This means that whoever lent you money to purchase your house is not being paid back at the agreed times. If this situation continues for too long you could end up having your home repossessed by the lender in order to cover your debt to them.

Repossession of a house is a big deal and lenders, be they banks or other financial institutions, will do everything they can to avoid this situation. However, if you know you’re in financial trouble and don’t want to wait until things get nasty you can decide to sell your house now and remove the burden of a mortgage debt from your life. If you want to sell your house now we can help you get it done fast.

How Long Before My Home is Repossessed?

In order for your home to be repossessed you must be at least 3 months in arrears. This means you have missed three mortgage payments and are expected to pay a fourth. When you arrive at the three-month mark a lender can then begin repossession proceedings against you.

However, before beginning a repossession procedure, lenders are obliged by the government to help you come up with a solution. It’s better for them if they can help you to find a way to pay your mortgage bills because repossessing a house can be costly and time-consuming. If you run out of options, it can still take up to nine months for a repossession to be completed. That means nine months from the moment you enter into arrears to the moment you vacate the property.

What Steps Can I Take If I’m Unable to Pay My Mortgage?

If you are on the verge of missing a mortgage payment, or if you have already missed one, you should immediately contact your mortgage provider. Actively and openly communicating with them will increase your chances of finding a solution to your financial situation that avoids repossession.

A mortgage lender must consider any and all of your proposals but will most likely suggest one of the following:

  • Postponing interest payments
  • Extending the length of your mortgage
  • Changing the type of mortgage
  • Adding missed payments to the total of your mortgage to be paid at a later date

With luck, these measures will put you back on track and prevent the worst-case scenario: repossession.

I’ve Exhausted the Above Options. What Other Help Can I Access?


The government sometimes offers a helping hand to people struggling to pay their mortgages. In order to qualify for financial assistance from the government you need to be already receiving some form of benefits, such as jobs seekers allowance or universal credit, and you cannot own a second home. The scheme is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) and, as the name suggests, only helps with paying the interest on your mortgage, not the principle.

A final option you can consider is to sell your home.

How can I Sell My House Fast?


If you’ve run out of options with your mortgage lender you might want to consider selling your house to pay off your debts. If you are actively pursuing this option, which means the house is listed for sale at a reasonable price, a lender should delay a repossession to give you time to sell.

The advantage of deciding to sell your house is that you take control of your move. What is more, houses generally sell for more before a repossession than after, which means you are more likely to pay off your mortgage with the sale and get out of the situation debt free.

We can help you sell your house fast. In many cases we can arrange a sale within 7 days, putting an end to your financial disaster before it even happens. We take care of everything leaving you time to plan your move. By selling your house quickly you’ll avoid getting into debt and safeguard your credit rating for the future.

What Happens If I Don’t Sell?

If you are out of options and decide not to sell your house it will eventually be repossessed. By law, a lender must present you with a list of missed mortgage payments, along with the total amount you owe before taking the case to court.

You will receive a notification from the court including the date, time, and location of your hearing, along with some paperwork you need to fill in. If your financial situation changes before the hearing you can contact the lender and arrange a postponement. For this reason, it is important to maintain contact with the lender even during these difficult times.

Once in court you will be given a chance to explain your case and the lender will state their side of the story. The judge presiding over the case will decide what is to be done. A direct possession order means you have to leave your home within a given time period, usually 28 days. A suspended possession order means you will stay in your home if you agree to a new payment plan stipulated and overseen by the court.

On occasion, repossession hearings end with the judge granting one or the other party more time to prepare themselves or, if your home is close to being sold, a judge may allow you more time to complete the sale. Meanwhile, if you have managed to pay your mortgage arrears before the hearing your case will be dismissed.

We Can Help


Going through a repossession can be extremely difficult, financially and psychologically. We can help you avoid repossession by helping you sell your house fast. Our experienced team are accustomed to selling houses in difficult circumstances and knows how to make the sale as smooth and stress-free as possible. Contact us today to find out how we can you.


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Jeremy Baker

Jeremy is seasoned writer with a real time grasp of the UK property market. With a profound understanding of real estate dynamics and an intuitive feel for market trends, he provides readers with valuable insights and analysis.