Advice NI’s free debt service, Debt Action NI, which has a Lisburn office at Bachelors Walk, 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.
The charity urges people to seek free debt advice if they are in negative equity and are worried about managing their mortgage payments.
Anne Marie Carmichael of the Lisburn Debt Action NI office said: “Debt Action NI is deeply concerned at the rising level of mortgage shortfall 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.
“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.”