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Mortgage stress handbook

1. How to use this handbook

Getting behind on your repayments for a home loan is stressful. This handbook will help guide you to get a repayment arrangement in place with your lender.

The handbook covers:

  1. What the lender has to do to take possession of your home
  2. What you can do to stop the lender taking possession of your home
  3. How to negotiate a repayment arrangement
  4. What to do if the lender won’t agree to a repayment arrangement
  5. Accessing your superannuation and mortgage assistance (if available)
  6. Getting a stay if the lender has a court order to evict you from your home
  7. Getting help

The handbook does not cover:

  1. Getting a home loan
  2. Business loans
  3. Loans for investments other than residential property e.g. shares
  4. Disputes with your lender other than financial hardship e.g. unjustness or unfairness, disputes over exit fees
  5. How to deal with defaults under your home loan other than your failure to make your regular loan repayments (such as your bankruptcy or your failure to keep the property insured).

If your loan is for business or investment (e.g. to buy shares), the information in this handbook may not apply to you. You still may have rights under an industry Code of Practice. See Chapter 13 for the relevant sections of the Codes of Practice. Your lender may also be a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Is my problem urgent?

In some cases your situation is so urgent you do not have time to start reading through this handbook. Chapter 2 gives you a quick guide to recognising that your situation is urgent and points you to the sections most relevant to you so that you can take immediate action.

Get legal advice

It is recommended that you get legal advice about your situation. See useful contacts at Chapter 14 on how to get free legal advice and how to contact a free financial counsellor.



You may need to ask for legal advice more than once. Don’t be afraid to keep getting legal advice or financial counselling assistance as your situation develops.