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Mortgage arrears: payment problems

This content applies to England & Wales

What happens when a borrower falls into arrears with her/his mortgage, and the steps that can be taken to resolve the situation.

For information about help with housing costs for home-owners see Support for mortgage interest.

For information about mortgage possession proceedings see Mortgage arrears possession process. For information about the steps that lenders and borrowers should take to ensure that court proceedings are a matter of last resort see Pre-action Protocol for Possession Claims based on Mortgage Arrears. For additional information on mortgages see Buying a home.

exclamation Please, note that from 27 March 2020, all ongoing possession proceedings are suspended for 90 days. For more information about emergency measures introduced to deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on borrowers, visit the Mortgage payment problems page in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and housing section.

Mortgage jargon

Mortgage terminology. 

Handing back the keys

The situation when a borrower hands back the keys to the lender. 

How mortgages work

Basic characteristics of a mortgage, and the legal charge. 

Tactics for dealing with mortgage lenders

Negotiating with lenders and ensuring compliance with pre-action protocol and MCOB rules. 

Ways to increase income

Ways to increase income for mortgagors in financial difficulty. 

Cutting the mortgage costs

How borrowers might be able to reduce the cost of their mortgage. 

Voluntary sale

Options and consequences for borrowers considering a voluntary sale after repossession. 

Sale and rent back schemes

What sale and lease back schemes are, how to use them, and their potential pitfalls. 

Mortgage rescue scheme

The mortgage rescue scheme helped eligible homeowners with a shared equity loan or a mortgage to rent option. This scheme closed to new applicants on 31 March 2014. 

Homeowners mortgage support scheme

Homeowners who had suffered a temporary loss of income may be able to reduce their monthly mortgage payments by deferring some of them for up to two years. The scheme closed to new applicants in April 2011. 

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