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Funding Announced for Mortgage Debt Advice Service
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Image by DUP Photos
Housing Minister Nelson McCausland has announced over £500,000 funding for the Mortgage Debt Advice Service.

Today’s funding will ensure the continuation of the advice service delivered by Housing Rights Service, until March 2015, which until now was being piloted. More than 1,500 people have been given advice from the Service since it was launched.

Speaking during a visit to the Housing Rights Service the Minister said: “Anyone who thinks they may be at risk of losing their home because of debt must take action immediately. Help and advice is available. Repossession should only ever be the very last resort. It’s vitally important that those facing the risk of repossession seek urgent independent advice and speak to their lender to avoid losing their home and explore the options that are available. “

Service advisors are available to help homeowners to address mortgage payment and debt problems which threaten their ability to remain in their homes. Specialist advisors can also provide advice and representation to enable individuals to remain in their home or, in cases where this is not feasible, assist them to explore alternative housing options.

Minister McCausland also welcomed innovative improvements to the Service: “Exploiting technology to provide alternative forms of access to this service, such as the online virtual advisor, as well as the extended contact hours to 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, provides greater flexibility for those facing mortgage difficulties to take advantage of the advice services on offer.”

There is also a dedicated Service telephone number on 0300 323 0310 and a specific Mortgage Debt and Repossession portal at www.housingadviceNI.org.

Peter McMahon, Service manager said: "This funding shows the Department’s commitment to assisting people struggling with housing debt. Our experience of delivering the pilot service has demonstrated that the earlier people seek free independent advice the more options are available. However, it really is never too late to get help and, if court proceedings have been initiated, it is vital to attend. Even at this stage repossession is not inevitable

Scenes from a broken economy: shuttered mortgage services store
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Image by Chris Devers
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Excel Mortgage & Investment
MAKING DREAMS HAPPEN

They must mean like that dream I had when I had my wisdom teeth out, and I was knocked out on Percoset. You know, the dream where I was on a hike in the mountains with a bunch of people, and the terrain kept getting harder and harder, and then we were being chased by wolves, and everyone just seemed to disappear, and it was just me and the wolves, and I was running & running and getting so tired, and then I came to this big brackish, polluted lake, and the only options were swim or the wolves, so I jumped in with my camping gear and everything, and started swimming for the other side, and the wolves came in after me, and then I woke up. In a cold sweat. Exhausted.

I hated that dream.

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This photo appeared on NPR’s Planet Money blog on 5 Jun 2009, and on paltalk News Network on 9 Dec 2009.

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