- contact you as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances
- try to find a solution that suits you
- keep you informed
- take your individual circumstances into account
- if we have your permission, talk to a debt adviser, for example, Citizens Advice
- give you reasonable time to pay back the arrears; and
- only start proceedings to repossess your home if we cannot solve the problem with you.
We might be able to:
- arrange a new payment plan with you, taking your and our circumstances into account
- change the way you make your payments, or the date you make them
- allow you to pay back your mortgage over a longer period of time (which might reduce your monthly payments)
- offer temporary conversion of your mortgage to interest only, which may reduce the amount you pay each month
- offer a new interest rate.
If we can make one of these arrangements with you, we will explain how it would work and give you time to consider it.
You may want to talk to a professional adviser, such as a debt counsellor or a lawyer, before you change your mortgage arrangements. We would strongly advise that you seek independent, free, debt advice.
For more information about organisations that can also assist those in financial difficulty, please visit our Helpful Contacts page.
If we can’t offer you any of these arrangements, we’ll tell you why. However, we might agree to you remaining in the property to sell it yourself, depending on the circumstances.
What you can do to help us:
- keep to the payment plan we agree with you, or tell us if there is a change in your circumstances which may affect the arrangement
- seek debt advice if you would like help with managing your finances
- make sure you keep any other people paying the mortgage, and anyone guaranteeing the mortgage, up to date with what is happening
- check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help increase your income
- if you have an insurance policy, check whether it would help with your payments
- tell us if you move to a new address.
If you bought your home with other borrowers, each of you is responsible for all the money borrowed. This is true even if you normally only pay part of the mortgage.
Costs and charges
If you are in arrears, we may charge you for reasonable administrative and legal costs. This will incur daily interest at your mortgage interest rate. We will tell you the amount you will have to pay.
If we cannot agree on a solution:
- we may send a Field Counsellor to see you to discuss your financial circumstances, and the cost of the visit may be charged to your mortgage account. This will incur daily interest at your mortgage interest rate
- we might have to go to court to get back any money you owe us or start proceedings to repossess your home. If proceedings take place, we strongly recommend that you attend the court and that you seek independent debt advice. Starting court proceedings does not necessarily mean that we will repossess your home. We will keep trying to solve the problem with you
- re-possession is a last resort
- before we repossess your home, we suggest that you get in touch with your local authority to see if they can find you somewhere else to live
- you may be thinking about handing your keys over to us. If you do this, you will still owe us any outstanding debt, and we would ask you to discuss this option with us.
If we repossess your home:
- we will sell it for the best price we can reasonably get. We will try to sell it as soon as possible
- we will give you reasonable time to take your belongings from your home
- we will use the money raised from selling your home to pay your mortgage and any other loans or charges secured on your home
- if there is any money left over, we will pay it to you.
If selling doesn't raise enough to pay off the mortgage:
- if there is not enough money from the sale to pay the whole mortgage, you will still owe us the amount that is left (a shortfall debt). We'll tell you what this is as soon as possible
- we'll take account of your income and outgoings when we arrange a payment plan for this shortfall debt with you. But if we can't arrange a suitable plan, we may go to court to get our money back and you may have to pay additional court costs
- if a shortfall debt is not paid, it could affect whether you're able to get credit in the future.
If you don’t think we’ve treated you fairly and want to raise a complaint, you can do so by:
- Calling 0345 850 1766
- Using our live web chat - when web chat is available, you'll see the chat icon on the bottom right of the screen
- Filling out our complaint form
- Writing to:
Customer Relations Team
Skipton Building Society
- Visiting any of our branches.
We’ll send you a written acknowledgment within five working days of receiving your complaint.
Your concerns will be fully investigated by a member of our Customer Relations team and a detailed response issued within eight weeks of receiving your complaint.
If your complaint isn’t dealt with to your satisfaction, you may then take it to the Financial Ombudsman. The Financial Ombudsman Service provides a free and independent service for consumers, and it can be contacted at:
The Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SR. Phone: 0845 080 1800