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When a mortgage company takes possession of a house, they generally sell it. If the house sells for less than the money that’s owed under the mortgage, the mortgage company may ask the borrower to pay the difference - the “shortfall”.

We hear from people who are unhappy that they’re being asked to pay more money after their home has been repossessed - or are unhappy at the way the mortgage company has been trying to recover the money.

need to know

  • Some people tell us that they think their house was sold for too little - so it's the mortgage company's fault that there's a shortfall. We'll look into how the house was valued and marketed - and decide whether the mortgage company got a fair price in the circumstances.
  • If someone tells us their lender has harassed them in trying to recover a shortfall debt, we’ll consider how the lender contacted their customer. For example, we’ll check how many times the lender has been in contact, and whether they’ve tried constructively to reach an arrangement with their customer to pay the money back.
  • Some people tell us the mortgage company didn’t get in touch at all about the shortfall until months or years after the repossession - or has suddenly got back in contact. We’ll consider whether it’s fair for the lender to continue to recover the money - taking into account the time limits that apply and any contact that’s been made in the meantime.
  • If we decide it’s unfair for a mortgage company to recover a shortfall - or they’ve acted unfairly in the way they’ve tried to recover it - we may tell them to write it off, put in place a fair repayment agreement, or pay compensation for any upset they’ve caused.


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If you can’t find what you’re looking for here - or you’d like to talk to someone - give us a call ...

consumer helpline - 0800 023 4567
our technical advice desk (for businesses and consumer advisers) - 020 7964 1400

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