How we can help

We will
  • Contact you as soon as possible to discuss your current concerns.
  • Discuss all available options to see what is best for you.
  • Treat you fairly, listening to your individual circumstances.
  • Establish the extent of your financial difficulties. This may involve completing an income and expenditure statement with you.
  • Give you reasonable time to pay back the debt.
  • Ensure everything possible is done to help you remain in your home.
  • Inform you of free financial advice service if you have debts with other providers.
What we can do
  • Arrange a new payment plan with you and periodically review this to reflect your current circumstances (Subject to assessment).
  • Change the way you make your payments, or the date you make them on.
  • In some cases allow you to pay your repayment mortgage back over a longer period (Subject to assessment).
  • Change the type of mortgage you have, for example temporarily converting your account to an Interest Only basis could reduce your contractual payment (Subject to assessment).
  • In some cases use Assisted Voluntary Sale scheme to sell your property (Subject to assessment).
  • In some cases we will allow you to rent your property out (Subject to assessment).
  • Help you access free, independent and impartial advice.

If we can make one of these arrangements with you, we will explain how it would work and give you time to consider it. If we cannot offer you any of these options, we will of course tell you why. We might also agree to you remaining in the property to sell it yourself depending on your circumstances.

What you can do
  • Tell us as soon as possible if you are having problems repaying your mortgage or think that you might experience problems shortly. We want to help.
  • Seek free, independent and impartial advice.
  • Take steps to understand how and when you spend money and complete a budget planner.
  • Make sure you keep any other people paying the mortgage and anyone guaranteeing the mortgage, up to date with what is happening.
  • Keep to the payment plan we agree with you, or tell us if there is a change in your circumstances, which may affect the arrangement.
  • Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help to increase your income.
  • If you have an insurance policy such as payment protection, check whether it would help with your payments.
  • If applicable, ask us for our agreement to put tenants in your property. (Subject to assessment).
  • Tell us if you move to a new address and provide us with an up to date telephone number to make it easier to contact you.
How to contact us

0330 159 6601

8.00am - 8.00pm Monday – Friday, 9.00am - 1.00pm Saturday

If you would prefer to write to us, please ensure that you include your account number with contact details and send this to:

Whistletree
PO Box 655
Durham
DH1 9LX

If you would like a family member, friend or debt organisation to discuss an account on your behalf please complete a 3rd party request form and send it to the above address to confirm that you allow this person(s) to discuss your account.

Costs and charges

If you fall in to arrears with your mortgage repayments, we may charge you. Please refer to the tariff of fees for further details.

Legal proceedings

If we cannot reach an agreement on a solution to help you clear your arrears, we may have to commence legal proceedings to repossess your home. However, this is always treated as a last resort.

If court proceedings are issued, we strongly recommend that you seek immediate independent legal advice and attend any court proceedings.

If your home is repossessed
  • We will obtain two independent valuations of the property and we will sell it for the best price within a reasonable amount of time.
  • We will use the money raised from selling a particular property to pay all loans and charges secured against it.
  • If there is any money left over, this will go to any other second charges held on the property, or can be set off against any other mortgages you have with us. Only then will the remainder be transferred to you.
  • If there is not enough money from the sale to pay off the mortgage balance, our Recoveries Team will subsequently contact you to discuss the outstanding 'shortfall' amount.
  • We will take account of your monthly income and outgoings when trying to arrange a suitable payment plan for this debt shortfall with you.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties you may think there is no way out and wish to hand over the property keys to us. If you do this, you remain liable for any outstanding debt on your mortgage. Before taking such action, it is important that you discuss this with us first, as we may be able to help you resolve the situation.