“It can be an extremely fearful and depressing time in ours lives when the bank has threatened to swoop in and repossess our home. One of the most devastating things we could ever face in life is to be informed that the roof over us and our family will be claimed from us and that we can do absolutely nothing about it. This can result in deep fear and panic and can put a lot of excess pressure on our personal lives.
The truth of the matter is that there are actions one can take to avoid repossession from taking place. Unfortunately most home owners out there are unaware that there are in fact steps which can be taken, instead of simply letting the banks step in and having them repossess the property right from under their nose. If only more home owners out there were aware of the various steps one could take. If this was the case then the repossession rate in South Africa would undoubtedly drop significantly.
See below a list of steps which all home owners are able to take when facing repossession:
Tip 1: Chat to your bank. This is probably the most crucial step that one could possibly take. If start to realize that you are battling financially and there may be a chance that you could be missing a payment or two in the up and coming month, then call your bank and inform them of your predicament. Your bank will normally be very understanding and will do everything that they can in order to help you. Note that the last thing the bank would want to do is to reclaim you’re your property. If they were to reclaim the property it would generally mean them losing money as it is an extremely costly procedure for them to go through with.
Tip 2: As for a ‘grace’ period. This is typically a 3 – 6 month grace period which the bank will give you whereby you don’t have to meet any bond repayments at all. The bank will grant this period in order to give the home owner a chance to sort their financial situation out and hopefully get things together.
This is very useful to the home owner as it gives them time to; possibly sell another asset of theirs, get a job (or a higher paying one), wait for a payment from someone else which is potentially due to them but which may only be paid back to them a few months down the line. These are just a few examples. The idea is to buy yourself as much time as you possibly can from your bank in south africa. Banks are generally happy to work with you and grant you this time, so use it.
Tip 3: Ask your bank for an extended loan term. The majority of home owners are typically on a 20 yr term . Most owners are unaware that they able to extend this term to a period of up to 30 yrs. By doing this your monthly repayments will be reduced slightly, however it is worth noting that that more interest will be paid in total over the entire term. When one is facing month to month cash flow problems, reducing your monthly bond repayments can be very helpful. This extended loan term can be reverted back to a 20 year term if desired.
Tip 4: Ask to reduce the overall amount that you owe the bank. This can be a very helpful tactic if you can get it right. Call up your bank and ask them if they are able to reduce the overall debt amount that you owe. Believe it or not banks are often willing to go ahead with this as it results in them not needing to repossess the property, and hence will save the bank money. This also means that the home owner will continue to give the bank business as they will continue to pay at least a bond (even if it is a smaller bond) rather than no bond at all. Remember that repossessing a property can be extremely costly for the bank so it is usually an absolute last resort for them.
Tip 5: Contact a repossession expert for help. This is probably one of the best routes to go down if all else fails. There are investors out there who actually specialize in purchasing houses for cash and as a result have the ability to prevent the repossession of your home. These property investors are generally quite flexible and allow the home owner to remain in their property after the sale is complete.
This ultimately means that the home owner will not be booted out of the property and may carry on with their lives. This can be an extremely valuable benefit as often the home owner may have children that are going to a school in the area, or their jobs and possibly even family may be close by, these are things in our lives that we generally like to live near to. As you can see there solutions that exist out there. Provided that the home owner takes action immediately, the chances of preventing repossession can be high.
Take action before the situation gets out of hand and you may be out of your unpleasant situation sooner than you think. It is highly recommended that you start searching for a service that buys houses for cash before its too late. One such service is Easy Home Sales who offer their service a no charge to the client.
Dale Purdon, director and founder of IMAGINE Properties, Easy Home Sales any many more. Prior to setting up IMAGINE, Dale set out to build his own property portfolio in South Africa where he focused on acquiring high yielding rental properties in the lower end market and gained extensive experience in stock-sourcing as well as portfolio management.