A survey undertaken by YouGov suggests that 28% of people prioritise consumer credit debts such as credit card bills, personal loans or overdraft repayments ahead of essential household bills like rent, mortgage or utility bills.
This means that people are placing themselves at risk of losing their homes.
The survey suggests that 24 million people in the UK, over half the adult population, are in financial difficulty with both household and consumer debts.
3.6 million people admitted in the survey they would stop paying their rent or mortgage before their credit card payments. This is often because people do not realise the implications of stopping their rental or mortgage payments. They also often feel more pressure from the credit card companies when they repeatedly call or send letters in relation to overdue payments.
People who fall into arrears with their rent or mortgage face possession proceedings being taken against them and the serious risk of losing their home as a result. If they fall into arrears with utility companies their supply may be cut off leaving them with no gas or electricity, heating or hot water.
If someone receives a Notice Seeking Possession or court proceedings as a result of falling behind with their rent or mortgage, it is important that they receive specialist advice as soon as possible. It may not be too late to enter into an agreement with either the landlord or the mortgage lender or reach an agreement through the Court, to avoid them losing their home. Legal aid may also be available to defend the possession proceedings if someone is on a low income or in receipt of benefits.
If you or anyone you know is facing possession proceedings, Stephensons have a dedicated housing team who can offer specialist legal advice and assistance. Call the team on 01616 966 229.