NI Homeowners left with £44 million in debt after losing their homes

Advice NI’s FREE debt service, Debt Action NI has expressed growing concern at the rapidly rising level of mortgage shortfall debt across Northern Ireland. Mortgage shortfall debt applies to anyone who has been left with a deficit in their mortgage after their home has been sold or repossessed. The charity has seen an increase of 24% since 2013 of mortgage shortfall debt with the combined figure rising to £44 Million across Northern Ireland, an average debt per client of £100,000.

The charity is also gravely concerned that the situation could get much worse if interest rates were to increase. On a recent poll on the www.debtaction-net website 68% of those who took the survey said that they would not be able to maintain their mortgage payments if there was any rise in interest rates.  Over 2/5 of those surveyed also said that their property was currently in negative equity.  In 2013 Northern Ireland had the highest level of Negative Equity with  41% of homeowners living with negative equity  in comparison to Scotland at 13%*. 

The charity urges people to seek FREE debt advice if they are in negative equity and are worried about managing their mortgage payments. 

Fiona Magee, Deputy Chief Executive says:

“Advice NI is deeply concerned both at the level of rising combined, and individual debt. This difficult situation is made all the worse by the numbers of people highlighting how much difficulty they would find themselves in if interest rates were to rise. This is a ticking economic and social time bomb which we all need to be aware of. However, help is at hand. We urge people to get in contact with the service if they are in negative equity and are struggling to pay their mortgage or if they have been left with a shortfall debt after their home has been sold or repossessed. Our service is free and our advisers are experienced with negotiating with lenders on a daily basis.”

She added,

“There are a number of companies out there who are charging for this type of advice and in some cases clients are paying significant upfront costs with some being quoted fees of over £4,000. In difficult times, people should be aware that there is help at hand, which will not make an already difficult financial situation worse.”

If you are in negative equity and currently struggling to meet your mortgage payments or any other debt please get in touch with us:

Debt Action NI – FREE debt help you can trust!

Freephone: 0800 917 4607 

Text ‘ACTION’ to 81025 



Note to Editor:

  • For further information contact Barry Turley on 07734 256318 or Fiona Magee Advice NI, Deputy Chief Executive on 078 90546823
  • Since August 2012 the Debt Action NI service has helped over 15,500 clients, with a combined debt of £214.7 million.  With 256 possessions prevented. 
  • Debt Action is funded by the DETI and the Money Advice Service
  • *BBC Negative Equity Report 2013, Northern Ireland has a higher rate of negative equity in comparison to the rest of the UK – with 41% of Northern Ireland homeowners being in negative equity.
  • 237 homeowners completed the Debt Action NI online survey