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Mortgage arrears for joint mortgages

If you have a joint mortgage with someone else, all of you are equally liable for keeping up the repayments, even if someone moves out. The lender can pursue any one of you for the money if someone fails to pay.

Who is responsible for making repayments to a joint mortgage?

If you have a joint mortgage with your husband, wife, civil partner or partner, or with a family member or friend, you will both be jointly and severally liable for making the repayments. This means that your mortgage lender can pursue either one of you if the payments aren't made on time, and can take either one of you to court to repossess the property. Therefore, if one of you can't pay your share, the other will have to do their best to cover the shortfall. You can find out more about joint mortgages here.

What if the other person leaves?

Even if one of you is not currently living in the property, that person is still responsible for paying the mortgage. However, in practice, if one of you has moved out, the mortgage lender is more likely to pursue the person still living in the property if repayments are not being made.

You may be able to force the person you have the joint mortgage with to pay their share. The page on paying the mortgage in the relationship breakdown section explains your options in more detail.

What if we're having problems paying the mortgage?

If either of you is having problems paying your joint mortgage (for example, if you've been ill and don't get much sick pay from your employer, if you've lost your job or if you're struggling to cope with other debts), don't ignore the problem. Rather than let arrears build up, be honest with your mortgage lender. Tell them that there's a problem as soon as possible and they may be willing to make special arrangements until you get through the rough patch. For example, they may let you take a payment holiday or reduce your monthly payments temporarily. It will depend on your circumstances and not every lender will be able to help but it is a good idea to talk to them as early as possible. You could save yourselves a lot of stress and worry. Read the page on dealing with mortgage arrears to find out more.

What if our home is being repossessed?

If your mortgage lender has started proceedings to repossess your home, either you or the person you share your mortgage with can take steps to delay or prevent the repossession. The section on repossession explains what you can do.

Where can I get help and advice?

If you are in this situation, get advice from a housing aid centre, Citizens Advice Bureau or money advice centre - use the Advice Services Directory to find an agency near you.

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The important points

  • If you have a joint mortgage with someone else, all of you are equally liable for keeping up the repayments.
  • If your name is on a joint mortgage, even if you have moved out because of a relationship breakdown, you will still be responsible for meeting mortgage payments.
  • Tell your lender as soon as you think you might have a problem meeting your repayments, as you might have options that mean you can stop or reduce your monthly payments for a short period.

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

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