Ministry of Justice
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Rent and mortgage arrears information goes online

People behind with payments on their homes will have a new way of finding the best solution to their arrears problems today, with the publication of information and advice by the Ministry of Justice.

New animated videos, interview clips and articles, to be featured on Directgov, go from the point where there may be a problem, to communicating with landlords or mortgage lenders, how to prepare for court and what happens during and after a court hearing.

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said:

‘The government has taken considerable steps to ensure people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage get the help they need to stay in their homes.

‘Mortgage repossession figures released earlier this month show that the number of people facing repossession has considerably reduced since this time last year, but we’re not complacent. The information being made available today is easy to understand and accessible via the Directgov website and aims to help people find a way out of their financial difficulties and avoid repossession.’

District Judge Stephen Gold, who appears in several of the videos, said:

‘The worst thing you can do if you are in arrears is ignore the problem. Get impartial advice from an expert. Free advice should be available to you. Find out about the court process – it's not as complicated as people think and, most important of all, talk to your mortgage lender or landlord. You may be able to reach an agreement about clearing the arrears and avoid court altogether.’

The mortgage and rent arrears information will be available on Directgov from Monday 31 August 2009:

The videos and articles are designed to answer questions asked by people in arrears. A key point is how you can avoid having to go to court altogether, as well as who may be able to help you deal with any debt or financial problems you are facing.

There is also practical information on the court process, the kinds of question the judge may ask, and what can happen after a court hearing.

Notes to editors

  1. The rent arrears and mortgage arrears articles and online videos will go live on 31 August 2009.
  2. District Judge Stephen Gold has served on the bench since July 1995. Judge Gold is currently based at Kingston upon Thames County Court.
  3. For more information, please contact the Ministry of Justice News Desk on 020 3334 3539.

Creative social storytelling with NHS Digital & Doncaster Council