I’m sure you have heard the phrase:
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt!
So, yes I have been through dealing with property negative equity a number of times with a few properties, so I speak from experience and not just the theory of it all.
The First Negative Equity Experience
To be honest, this was not pleasant.
It was really the not knowing what to do and what was going to happen was the worrying part.
I had a number of properties I had bought at the height of the property boom in 2007, some of which I rented out and one I lived in.
Mortgages were easy to get then and you just needed a pulse to get approved. Self certification of income was all the rage and it looked like things could only get better.
Instead of getting better they got bitter!
The mortgages I took out were all interest only mortgages with no repayment vehicle being requested from the lenders.
Of course, we all know now what happened around 2008. There was the property crash and the values of property plunged. Instant negative equity!
What Did I Do?
Then, I really did not know what to do. I got onto the Internet to see what I could find out, but because the crash had just happened there really wasn’t much information or guidance to be had.
To be honest, I didn’t do anything for a while.
I am based in Northern Ireland and it was particularly badly hit by the fall in property prices and therefore extreme negative equity.
Good and Bad Companies
Like every facit of life, there are good and bad companies in every sector of business life. Some are just interested in the fees they can charge and there is very little support, whereas others will lead you by the hand through all the steps until completion.
I remember searching for a company to help and spoke to the owner on the phone. He was quite “jokey” to the point of being flippant and because of the seriousness of the situation, that turned me right off them. One of the things he said on the phone was, “oh if you don’t want something, just stop paying for it and the things you want, just keep paying for them”.
I then moved onto a company called Grant Thornton who had offices in Belfast. The girl I had the initial meeting was absolutely excellent. She took the time to explain everything they could do and answered all my many questions.
Grant Thornton got so busy dealing with property negative equity issues that they set up a new company called Aperture. I would have to say that the service was nowhere as good once they changed company and perhaps they got too busy.
I have now established a strong link to a different company who deals with negative equity problems and I cannot speak highly enough of their services.
If you get in touch with me I will gladly give you their contact details for a free no obligation chat.
See also Rental Property with Negative Equity.