Dealing with your priority debts

What if my home is worth less than the mortgage?

See our fact sheet:

Negative equity in your home.

If your home is not worth enough to repay the mortgage in full, this is often known as having 'negative equity'. If you are worried about negative equity, contact us for advice.

Mortgage shortfalls

See our ​fact sheet:

Mortgage shortfalls.​

If you hand back the keys or your lender repossesses, they will sell the property. If your home is not worth enough to repay your mortgage, your lender can ask you to pay the difference. This is usually called a 'mortgage shortfall'. You have options for dealing with this type of debt. Contact us for advice.

If the lender first contacts you over six years from the date your house was sold, it may be too late for them to recover the debt. Before getting in touch with your lender, contact us for advice.


pay your mortgage first

You must pay your mortgage before your non-priority debts such as unsecured bank loans, credit cards, doorstep collectors, or overdrafts, which are not secured on your home. If your mortgage arrears and other priority debts use up all your money for creditors, and there is nothing left to offer on your non-priority debts, tell your creditors this and send them a copy of your budget summary.​ You can create a budget summary by using our budget tool, Your budget.