Home ownership is one of the greatest joys a person can have. They often save for years to be able to buy or build their dream home. Their lifelong dreams of raising a family and growing old in their home can almost become a nightmare when unforeseen circumstances make it almost impossible to make the monthly payments required to keep their home.

Unforeseen circumstances such as redundancy, divorce or separation, death are just a few of the many things that can change a person’s financial circumstances and cost them their home if they’re not careful. As dreadful as many of these circumstances may be, they’re often not the fault of the homeowner. However, every year thousands of homeowner’s in South Africa are victims of financial circumstances causing them to have their home repossessed.

Homeowners that are at risk of losing their home should always contact the bank at the first sign of financial difficulty. Waiting too long often makes it too difficult to catch up on your own and makes the bank look negatively on you as a creditworthy customer. Banks, in spite of their reputation, are willing to help you and do not wish to repossess your home. No one wins when a bank repossesses a home.

The homeowner has lost their home and all the money they’ve stuck into it so far and the bank has to spend a lot of money and time to go through the repossession process. So, contact your bank if you are having difficulty making your bond payment. The bank may have many options available to help you get out of your financial mess and get back on track. They’ll often extend the term of your bond so your payments will be smaller, lower your interest rate or even lower your entire balance.

Many customers facing repossession will request a “holiday” period of 3 to 6 months where they don’t have to make any monthly bond payments. This period gives them a chance to catch up on their bond payments as well as other bills they have. If their financial problems came about as a result of a job loss, this is often enough time to find a new job. The banks are willing to help you if you contact them and they feel you are able to repay your bond in the future. This is the first thing you should actually do when attempting to stop repossession of your home.

Unfortunately, some people wait too long or their finances get so bad that they just can’t continue to make the payments. In cases like this, they often feel that repossession is their only option. That’s what they’ve been lead to believe: if they don’t make their payments, their home will be repossessed, well as stated above there are ways to prevent repossession.

Repossession companies, however, are available to help homeowners struggling to avoid repossession. They can help you buy giving you free financial help and advice or buying your home from the bank so it doesn’t get repossessed. This is a great option for homeowners that would otherwise lose their home to repossession. Their credit history is not totally destroyed from having a repossession black-listing it and keeping them from getting credit in the future.

Repossession companies will also rent the home back to the owners so they don’t have to move and uproot their entire family. They may also offer you the opportunity to buy back your home if and when your finances improve. So, don’t give up—repossession should never be an option.