Archive for July, 2016

What are my options if my home is in negative equity?

Despite the length of time since the initial downturn in the property market in Northern Ireland, negative equity is still prevalent. You might be asking yourself, what are my options if my home is in negative equity?

The problem facing many is that the decline was massive. Any recovery simply isn’t of substantial amount, nor pace.  We are starting from a low point so; any property price rise is small and almost irrelevant in reducing negative equity shortfalls.

You’re not a prisoner to your mortgage

At Bell & Company we hear people refer to themselves as mortgage prisoners, trapped in Negative Equity with no option. This is NOT the case and Bell & Company’s Resolution team deal with Negative Equity cases day in day out and regularly achieve life changing settlements for our clients.

If you are in Negative Equity you have the following options:

Keep the property and maintain payments. Yes, you are essentially paying for a negative asset but if it is your family home or the property has sentimental value than this option does exist. Granted it is not plan A, but this is the market we find ourselves in.

Appoint Bell & Company to:

Bell & Company work with Northern Irish and mainland UK lenders. We understand how each different lender works and the requirements they have in finalising an amicable conclusion. If you are in Negative Equity, please call us today on 0330 159 5820 to arrange your free initial consultation.

Our expert advisors can go through your case and tailor the RIGHT advice to your situation. We are always up front and do not say what you want to hear but give you realistic options.

We look forward to assisting you.

Can I contest a Personal Guarantee signed without legal advice?

One of the first things that we request from any potential Client, can I contest a personal guarantee signed without legal advice? This is imperative in order to ensure that matters were handled in the correct way.

We seek to identify then whether or not legal advice has been obtained or, at the very least, offered by the lending institution. Very often, individuals will have signed Legal Waivers meaning that they were essentially waiving their right to legal advice. This causes difficulty somewhat in disputing a Personal Guarantee on the basis of no advice.

In the event however that there is a challenge in terms of the environment/way in which the Personal Guarantee was signed and, indeed, if there was no legal advice obtained or offered, we will challenge this head on. One example of this would be where a Wife allegedly signed a Personal Guarantee under duress from her spouse and without separate, independent legal advice

Watch more on Personal Guarantees


It is coming up to a couple of weeks since the EU Referendum was held and that Brexit was announced. It has been perhaps the most turbulent time in British politics in living memory with party leaders stepping aside or being under severe pressure. Whatever your political views or whether you voted leave or remain the fact is we face a period of instability with very little sound knowledge of the future.

 In respect of property you can almost read an article to suit either markets will be fine or will plummet, you choose the article and your preference.

 Many articles are London-centric, much like the politics pre-referendum and reading those shows that the top end of the property market saw a fall since the result was announced.  It will be interesting to see if this filters down, as we have commented previously the London Property Bubble could burst at any time and perhaps Brexit could be the trigger.

 Looking specifically at Northern Ireland there is far less literature, nonetheless we have found some interesting papers along with comments from associates in our network see the below.


The simple fact is that Property markets do not like uncertainty.

 Speaking with a local estate agent in Belfast Bell & Company were advised there was a slight reduction in supply of property on the market, vendors where awaiting the outcome of the referendum perhaps before making the decision to list their property. In the immediate aftermath the agent advised that on the Friday three sales fell through ranging from the low to top end of the Belfast market. In terms of the supply factor in may take months to see if this downward trend continues and some point to the fact that limited supply (UK wide) may buffer house price decline.

 Another factor to consider is that the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee have now aired views to reduce the already incredibly low interest rate further. This may not happen at next week’s committee meeting but could be on the agenda for August.  Bell & Company at the start of the year commented on how we could only see Interest rates rising, clearly this may not be an option for the Bank of England, but again researching you can find an argument to increase interest rates to assist the strength of Pound Sterling.

 Lower interest rates would mean good news for first time buyers who could benefit from a longer period of interest rates being low than previously anticipated. Also cash buyers could benefit further as Banks may look to tighten lending given we are in a period of increased risk and uncertainty.


Commercial property in Northern Ireland has seen confidence fall. Even when the referendum was announced confidence began to decline. The shock result has seen further delay in property deals with companies holding off until we see increased stability.

 Brain Lavery, Managing Director of highly respect commercial agents CBRE, was quoted in the Belfast Telegraph lately “Until there is clarification on the ramifications of the Brexit vote, developers of new schemes of all types are anticipated to proceed with caution and an eye on how our politicians work together to regain market confidence in a changed landscape”. CBRE commented that compared with this time last year commercial transactions are down by 27%.

 Clearly developers are rattled.

 Realistically, in the long term, no one really knows how Property Markets will be effected. The UK and Northern Ireland (as we stand) is rudderless and until we negotiate an exit from the European Union we do not fully know the ramifications. Surely, the strength of the Pound and Property Markets will be high on the agenda for Osbourne and the new Prime Minister come October and when they negotiate an exit.

 Unfortunately for some the Brexit vote will have little implication on their debt burden. Bell & Company specialise in Residential Mortgage Negative Equity debt assisting borrowers through the process and eradicating their mortgage shortfall debt. We also assist Businesses and Individuals with Corporate Banking Debt. Our excellent team achieved some excellent results in June and we would be happy to discuss these with you either in person or over the phone. Bell & Company offer market leading pre-insolvency advice and we always offer clients a free initial consultation at a location to suit you.

 If you or anyone you know could benefit from our services please call us today on 02895 217373. We look forward to working with you.

** Brexit Update 04/11/2016 **

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