Voluntary Repossession Facts

By November 2, 2008House Repossession Rights

Trusted Advice From Experts to help stop house repossession.

What happens with voluntary repossession?

This is when, as a last resort, you simply hand over your keys without going to court. Your lender might even suggest this to you if they think it is unlikely you’ll be able to repay your arrears.

Voluntary repossession can seem like an easy, stress free solution at a glance. But your debt will probably grow as a result. And lenders will be very reluctant to lend to you in the future. Think twice… if you’ve already decided to hand your keys in, you might still have time to find a better option.

You still pay your mortgage after voluntary repossession

Voluntary repossession doesn’t solve everything. Even though you hand in your keys, you still have to pay the mortgage until your home is sold. You also have to pay for somewhere else to live while things are being sorted out. Because it might take some time for your home to sell, the amount you owe can go up dramatically while you wait. Your lender will use the money from the voluntary repossession sale to pay all sorts of things:

* If you have an interest only mortgage, there’s your endowment policy or ISA payments
* At least six weeks’ worth of Council Tax
* The capital that you borrowed in the first place, plus the interest you owe
* Buildings insurance
* Your arrears
* Penalty charges for missed mortgage repayments


Low sale price

Remember if you go for voluntary property repossession your lender probably won’t get as much money for your home as you would if you sold it privately. Lenders often accept quick-sale offers considerably lower than the market value. And properties sold at auction often sell for much less than they’re worth.

Beware of Mortgage Indemnity Guarantees

Not many people are aware that while a Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee pays off the difference between the property’s value and your mortgage, the insurance company will probably take legal action to get the money back from you. Even after the property is sold!

Don’t forget to factor in extra costs and fees

Usually you’d have to repay any ‘reasonable’ costs that your lender has paid on your behalf. This includes estate agency and auctioneer’s fees as well as bills for essential repairs.

Capital Gains Tax

The final insult? If the property’s value has gone up since you bought it and it isn’t your main home because you’ve rented it out, you’ll probably have to fork out Capital Gains Tax for voluntary house repossession.

We would like to hear from anyone who has any experience with voluntary house repossession.

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • l jolly says:

    i have just handed my keys back to the mortgage company and we had our house valued in october 2008 it was valued at 222,000 The building society have just put our house up for sale ai 135,000 surely this cant b right

  • Cheap Hotel Prices says:

    So if the bank sells it at say £100,000 and you had a mortgage at £150,000 u still owe £50,000?

  • judy purvis says:

    We did a voluntary repossession through G E Money.I left forwarding address and phone numbers but heard nothing – I treid to call them but was told that as I no longer had the keys it had nothing to do with me.

    I later found out that the house had sold.To cut a long story short we received a letter over 2 years later from a debt collection agency saying they wanted £89,600! We went to a solicitor and after much debate he found out that they had actually meant £8,900.

    He has been fighting for months to get paperwork to prove the debt and finally got it – but none of it matches and it looks like they still charged us mortgage payments after the sale date – is this supposed to happen? I thought that once they had sold the house then you only owed the debt up to that point?

  • kerry harkin says:

    We put an offer on a hose to be told it had 2 others bidding on it we were asked what our highest bid would be we went to the asking price. We were then told we weren’t successful and it went for 4 thousand more than the asking price so we put in another bid for 1 thousand above that and was told we weren’t successful as it was a done deal is this right??? The house was a voluntary repossession.

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