Stop Paying the Mortgage

Answered on 13 December 2012 by Nick Morrey

My partner shares ownership of a property with her ex-partner. He pays all mortgage payments. She is living in the house. If her ex decides to default on payments, is there any way my partner avoid the resultant impact on her credit rating?

All joint borrowers are "jointly and severally responsible" for the mortgage, which is to say that both borrowers are equally liable for the whole of the payment. So in the event that your partners ex was to cease paying the mortgage, the lender would expect her to still make the payment.

Does your partner have any kind of formal agreement with her ex that could be enforced if he was to stop making the payments? Also is your partner in a position to be able to take on the payments from her own income?

If she thinks it likely that her ex is going to stop making the payments, then she should contact the lender as soon as possible. Lenders are showing high levels of forbearance (leniency) on cases where they are being kept in touch with what is happening. There are a number of things that could be done to reduce the commitment levels of the mortgage, such as coverting to interest only, or extending the term.

If you would like to discuss the options open to your partner, then please let us know on 0344 346 3672.

Answers provided in response to Ask the experts are based on the information provided and do not constitute advice under the Financial Services & Markets Act. They reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of John Charcol. All comments are made in good faith, and John Charcol will not accept liability for them.

We recommend you seek professional advice with regard to any of these topics where appropriate.


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