Ulster Bank - assisted voluntary sale?

in N. Ireland
2 replies 1.7K views
I would be grateful for any experience of assisted voluntary sales in Northern Ireland, particularly with Ulster Bank or other local lenders.

I borrowed £120,000 from Ulster Bank to purchase a two bed terraced house in east Belfast in September 2006. 100% loan with no repayment vehicle and interest only over 25 year term.

Current market value estimated at £50k leaving £70k negative equity.

The mortgage is still interest only at this stage. Whilst I am now in a better paid job with some other unsecured debts close to being paid off, and could therefore possibly afford to switch to repayment and maybe even over pay a little, I do not see that house prices will ever return in that particular area to anywhere near 2006 level. Therefore I expect a significant shortfall at the end of the mortgage term with no means of repayment.

I am not living in the property at present and have no wish to hold on to it in future. I am keen to get married and start a family in the next 1-2 years, and the house is unsuitable. Future plans are on hold whilst I try to deal with this negative equity situation.

I have recently had some advice from a negative equity management company. From my initial consultation I was led to believe that an assisted voluntary sale followed by a negotiated settlement was a possibility, but am now being told Ulster Bank would not consider this option and it would have to be a volunteered surrender, which appears to be not that different from a repossession. The management company would charge a £4000 fee for the settlement negotiations which I don't think can be justified.

I am now considering negotiating with the bank myself and wonder if anyone had done this? Is it absolutely the case that Ulster Bank will not consider a voluntary sale?

All help very much appreciated.

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