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5 Buying and Selling Property
9. Mortgage and money problems
A mortgage is a loan secured on a property, which means that you cannot sell the property without repaying the loan. If you do not keep up your repayments, the lender ultimately has the right to go to court for an order to repossess and sell your home. But there are certain processes to go through before it gets to that stage. If you are having problems with your mortgage (or rent or other bills), see the CLS Direct leaflet 'Dealing with Debt'.
If you are in negative equity, your mortgage lender may refuse to allow you to sell your house or flat. It could also go ahead with legal action to repossess your property, unless you can show you can pay off the amount you owe. But you may be able to get the lender to agree to transfer the negative equity to a new home if, for example, you have to move because of your job.
If voluntary repossession means you become homeless with nowhere else to live, you may find that your local council does not have to offer you accommodation. A separate CLS Direct leaflet, 'Losing your Home', explains your rights if you face being homeless.
This leaflet was written by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Shelter.
Leaflet Version: April 2019
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CLS Legal Info Leaflets
29 I am in arrears with my rent. What are my rights?
(Legal Information Leaflets)