4 ways to prevent your home being repossessed

14 Jun 2017

Owning a home is a major achievement; it may represent years of hard work and sacrifice. There is no doubt that property ownership forms part of a solid investment portfolio. So, losing a home can be devastating, not only financially, but emotionally too. 
Many property owners who cannot meet their bond repayments make the common mistake of not contacting their banks and sometimes choose to ignore telephone calls, letters and emails. When your home is repossessed, the bank is forced to institute legal action against you. Once a judgement is obtained through the courts, the property is attached by the sheriff and sold as a ‘sale in execution’.

4 tips to prevent repossession

1 - Examine your budget carefully and cut debt levels. - Sometimes giving your budget a makeover can free up enough cash to keep your payments on track. This process will require you to make changes to your lifestyle; limit eating out, reduce cellphone bills and suspend subscriptions. Remind yourself that the cutbacks are short-term and that keeping your home is of utmost importance.

2 - Sell the property before you fall into arrears. - Waiting in the hope that your luck will turn could make matters worse. If you don’t want to sell your home, you may need to sell something else. Look around your house and see what assets you can sell to boost your funds.

3 - Ask the bank to extend your bond repayment period. - This will give you more cash in hand, but you will pay more interest. You could always change the mortgage repayment period back once your situation has improved.

4 - Speak to your accountant or financial adviser. - They may be able to give you financial advice on how to use your investments to tide you over. While not ideal, cashing in an investment may be a viable solution. Financial advisers have experience with individuals in financial distress and may be able to suggest some feasible solutions. “Remember, the bank will do everything in their ability to assist you to keep your home,” says Mr Barker from Standard Bank. “The key to an amicable solution is regular and open communication.”

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