WHAT TO DO IF I RECEIVE A PLA NOTICE
You need to take urgent action if you have received a PLA Notice. A Property Law Act 2017 Notice (“PLA Notice”) notifies you that you have defaulted on a mortgage. It means that you are at a real risk of losing your home, and that you might lose possession to your property.
It is important to get urgent help. This is a seriously concerning situation.
Why would you receive a PLA Notice ?
You would typically receive this letter if you have defaulted on your mortgage. There are different reasons for this, but they can include continuously not paying the bills or repayments on time, missing mortgage payments, or doing something not allowed by your lender or bank, such as having a 2nd mortgage or special caveat loan on your property. For most people, chances are they have reached this point because they have financial hardship paying their mortgage. You probably have already received a letter of demand for your mortgage but been unable to fix the situation.
What information does it usually have?
It will typically specify information, such as:
- Defaults you have under the mortgage
- How much money is demanded (including arrears and penalties usually)
- The deadline date
It may also contain other information. You should seriously consider having a legal expert explain the letter to you. It is important to act quickly, or the situation is likely to get worse or impossible to remedy.
What happens if you ignore the PLA notice?
There is a real risk you will lose possession of the home, and the bank or lender will take you to mortgagee sale. This means that you possibly also going to soon be in the position where you can no longer make decisions such as choosing to sell the home, as the bank will do it for you. You may already be in this position if it is too late as well.
You may also be charged additional costs or penalised further.
Get Legal Advice About the PLA Notice
Often getting legal advice will help you understand the situation better. A good lawyer who understands this area of the law may be able to speak to the lender or bank and discuss the situation. There is a slim but possible chance they’ll also be able to negotiate it and get you more time to fix your issues. They can also help check if the lender or bank has made any errors in issuing the PLA notice, if you ask them to. They can also advise you of your options and explain to you the legal consequences. Legal advice was also recommended by Consumer NZ.
Talk To Your Lender If You Haven’t Already
If you haven’t already, it is worth talking to your lender usually to see if they can offer you any alternatives. They may be able to give you a solution. However in a lot of cases, it is possibly too late or the bank can’t help you.
See If You Can Refinance The Home Loan
There is also a possibility you may be able to refinance the home. That means typically getting a new mortgage that helps you into a safe haven. This can be done with a non bank lender if you qualify. To get a non bank lender, you’ll usually need to approach a mortgage broker expert first, as most non bank lenders do not prefer dealing directly with customers.
Even if your bank has told you that they can’t help you, there is a reasonable chance a good mortgage broker with non bank lending experience can help you. The best non bank mortgage brokers know how to handle and manage the complicated criteria and policies set out by the lenders.
Consider If You Need To Sell The Property Because of the PLA notice
There’s a chance you’ll have the option to sell the property on your own terms, rather than the bank forcing the mortgagee sale and choosing their own real estate agent. You might have a family member or friend that would want to buy the property and they might let you live in it for a bit of time. Alternatively you might elect to sell it to a private house buyer. They could quickly sell your home.
You could also talk to a mortgage broker about arranging you a 6 month loan. That is a short temporary loan that gives you some time to market the property on the house. It can help you if you are experiencing financial difficulty and realise you need to ultimately sell the property. That can help you get out of an unsustainable position and then go back to a bank in a few years time if possible. Getting out of the bad situation now, can help you get back to normal sooner, rather than sitting