Financial hardship – Mortgage troubles – MoneySmart

Kathryn talks about how she and her husband coped when they got behind on their mortgage.

If you’re behind with your mortgage visit https://www.MoneySmart.gov.au/managing-my-money/managing-debts/problems-paying-your-mortgage/behind-on-your-mortgage for advice.

After Kathryn’s husband was retrenched she manages to save the family home and pay the mortgage by applying for financial hardship assistance to her lender.

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TRANSCRIPT
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Life was travelling really, really well. We had never ever missed a mortgage repayment. We were enjoying life, having regular holidays. And then all of a sudden, due to the Global Financial Crisis, my husband Craig lost his job after being at a place for 16 years.

He then was working at another company for 13 months. On Christmas Eve he had to make 10 men redundant. He was then called up and he was number 11. There were a couple of months when he didn’t have any work and we knew that we couldn’t sustain our mortgage.

Obviously just the thought of the type of stress we were under was pretty immense but from where we were to where we are now things are a lot easier. I feel I can sleep at night. My husband can sleep at night. I am able to breathe.

I just felt that we were suffocating in debt. Once we knew that we couldn’t meet our mortgage repayments we sought legal advice. We wrote a letter to the bank to seek financial hardship.

We then went to Salvation Army MoneyCare. Margaret took the stress off myself and my husband. She was able to negotiate with the banks on our behalf because we were very emotional. Very distressed at this stage, because my husband was out of work. I was trying to work at TAFE and trying to keep our head above water basically.

We ended up selling assets which cleared debts. My husband retrained in another industry.

Don’t be too proud to say, ‘Hey I need some help.’ I never thought in a million years that my husband and I would ever need charities.

Be proactive. Don’t sit around and wait for the banks to come to you because when they come to you they’ll take everything. Seek legal advice immediately.

As we stand right now we’ve saved our home which was fantastic, we’re all healthy. We’re happy and we’re looking forward to moving on.