Shared Ownership with CCJ

Hi eveyone,

This is my first post so if I've broken any rules please feel free to move/delete as required.

I'll begin at the start of a relatively long story, I'll try to keep it brief. 

A few years back I moved in with my SO, she owns her own place and I was renting. We'd been together a few years and this seemed like the natural way forward.  I had quiet reservations that the mindset would never truly shift to it being 'our home' but still remain very much 'her home'.  I proceeded nonetheless as this was merely my opinion and I was hoping to be proven wrong. 

Initially, everything was fine, it felt like home for a while and I was made to feel welcome.  I had accumulated a fair bit of debt over the years, taking on more than I could afford and had left myself stretched.  This in no way impacted my ability to contribute to the bills, I started off paying around 90% of the household outgoings which over the next few years became more like 70% as we agreed to put a third of our wage into a joint pot where the bills would go out from.  As I earn more than she does I contributed more to the pot, it made sense.

One evening I found myself chatting with friends about how much my monthly repayments were to various creditors. One friend suggested that I should simply stop paying to free up more of my monthly wage, the suggestion was that I would get a year or two before these creditors came after the debt, which would give me some financial breathing space.  It was terrible advice and I knew it.  At the time I had around 4 years left before everything was paid off, which seemed like a long time at that moment. 

I slept on it and weighed up the various outcomes of a decision like this.  My partner and I were stable and her kids were still quite young attending the local schools, so we had no plans to move for the next 10 years.  With this in mind, I naively thought that if I did stop paying these creditors any fallout would be resolved by the time we come to move, so perhaps this wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Needless to say one month I cancelled all my direct debits to creditors and ignored calls/letters from them for the first 6 months. It felt terrible, but hey, I knew best and I had a plan, what could go wrong?

Fast forward a few more years and my partner and I are not getting on at all, I won't go into details but it's become apparent that I need to move out.  This is where the problems begin...

So, I ring around trying to find a mortgage, and after many conversations, I can only find funding for £100k from Together Mortgages, they are the only finance company willing to help, understandably as my credit is in tatters along with a CCJ for circa $5k.  The offer I have is that I can buy a shared ownership house with the £100k being 100% mortgage.  Great I think, time to find a property...

Many months down the line with countless phone calls and applications have led me here.  It turns out all of the housing associations local to me will not accept applicants with CCJ's.  I've tried looking further afield but I'm hitting roadblocks from the housing associations saying I need to have a direct link to the area, ie work or family, so I can't apply for shared ownership in their district.

I'm at a loss, I have a lender willing to finance and a decent income of £63k p/a. I can easily afford the mortgage even with the 7.9% rate they put on me.  To clarify, I am repaying the CCJ and this has been taken into account on my affordability checks, which I pass easily every time I apply for a property.

So, my question is, is there a way out of this trap?  I can't rent as I fail credit checks and I can't seem to find a housing association to take me on with a CCJ, it's just "their policy" and they don't seem willing to consider individual circumstances. 

I know I should never have stopped paying the creditors, in hindsight, it was dumb and I knew it at the time, I just never saw myself in this situation.

Has anyone else had a similar experience or are there any options I could explore that I haven't already?  For clarity, I've applied (via various developers and agents) with Sage Homes, Orbit and Stonewater Housing, none of which are entertaining CCJ's

Apologies for not keeping it as brief as I had hoped, this has been ongoing for around 5 months, a lot has happened.

I look forward to reading your comments and hoping to hear some sound advice. 

Kind regards.
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