Mortgage Stress Victoria

Get Help With Your Mortgage Stress

We provide FREE help to Victorians in mortgage stress. We can help if you:

  • Have a mortgage
  • Have money troubles
  • Are in Victoria

Contact us for free initial legal advice and to discuss ongoing support from our team of specialist lawyers, financial counsellors and social workers:

Call us on 1800 572 292. 

9:30am – 5:00pm on Monday to Friday   

OR

Click here for our contact form

IS IT TOO LATE OR TOO EARLY TO GET HELP?

We can help at any stage of mortgage stress – even if your payments are up to date, or if there are court orders for repossessing your home.

The sooner you contact us, the more options you have to deal with your mortgage stress issues.

 

HOW DO WE HELP?

Mortgage stress can be complicated. We are a team of lawyers, social workers and financial counsellors, working together with our clients to help resolve their legal, financial, emotional and health issues that cause and result from mortgage stress. We may provide advice or ongoing representation and support with many issues. We can also connect you with local support services.

Read below on how we helped our client Zara: 

Zara is a single mother of 8 young children living in the western suburbs of Melbourne. She came to Australia with her husband from South Sudan and speaks English as a second language. Her marriage ended due to family violence and her ex-husband is now in jail. As a result, Zara had fallen into significant debt; owing over $15,000 in arrears on her mortgage, $3,000 in arrears on council rates and $10,000 on a car loan. Zara also had personal credit card debts that she took out to support her children. Zara’s local Council referred her to Mortgage Stress Victoria when legal proceedings had been initiated by her bank and her house was in the process of being repossessed. Zara was told to go with her family to a homelessness service to seek crisis accommodation. The weight of this stress impacted Zara’s mental health and sadly, she tried to step out into traffic to end her suffering. She survived and recovered. At this time, Mortgage Stress Victoria successfully negotiated with the bank for a three month hold on her mortgage and we secured withdrawal of the court proceedings, preventing repossession of Zara’s home. We also negotiated a hardship arrangement for the car loan and council rates, to prevent further risk of repossession of the home. Mortgage Stress Victoria could help sustain this outcome through wrap around social work support for her mental health issues.  

 

WHAT IS MORTGAGE STRESS?

There are a few definitions of mortgage stress. Some define mortgage stress as lower income households that spend at least one third of household income on mortgage repayments (ABS). Others define mortgage stress as households that spend more money on expenses than their income. (Digital Finance Analytics). We look at our clients’ situation overall: mortgage stress can mean you are behind in mortgage repayments OR you could be paid up to date, but you have other financial, legal, health or emotional reasons that put your housing at risk.

Mortgage stress may not be an immediate issue for you. But if your household finances are tight, then one event – an accident, unemployment, separation, health issue, or interest rate rise – can tip a household into financial crisis.

 

OTHER PLACES TO GET HELP

 

USEFUL RESOURCES

 

ABOUT US 

Mortgage Stress Victoria is a specialist service, helping Victorians in mortgage stress with free legal, financial counselling and social work support, to stay in their homes sustainably.

Almost half of all Victorian homeowners are in mortgage stress1. Household debt in Australia is at record high levels2, and the highest in the world. Housing is becoming unaffordable and insecure for more and more families. Many of our clients cannot make ends meet and face eviction from home ownership straight into homelessness.

Our service provides ongoing, multidisciplinary help to people experiencing vulnerability, on a range of issues related to mortgage stress. We take this intensive approach because mortgage stress is a broad picture; it involves legal, social, health, emotional and financial factors.

Mortgage Stress Victoria collaborates across sectors and we share our ideas, evidence and insights from our casework, into the scale, nature, drivers and impacts of mortgage stress. As we expand, we will contribute new ideas and solutions for fairer outcomes for households experiencing vulnerability.

Mortgage Stress Victoria began as a pilot program. For the past 5 years, WEstjustice has successfully operated and refined the service, and secured Victorian Government funding for a state-wide expansion.

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[1] Digital Finance Analytics, 2022, ‘Household Stress and Scenario Update’. Accessed online: https://nucleuswealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/DFA-12-Jan-2022.pdf

[2] Core Logic, 2020 https://www.corelogic.com.au/news/could-household-debt-levels-be-trigger-another-round-credit-tightening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE are located

  • Footscray
  • Werribee
  • Sunshine
Footscray

Workspace365, Level 2, 90 Maribyrnong St, Footscray VIC 3011 (temporary relocation)

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-1.00pm and 2:00pm-5:00pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Please call us to get legal help (appointment time needed).

Werribee

Level 1 / 8 Watton Street, Werribee VIC 3030 | Mail: PO Box 2199, Werribee VIC 3030

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5:00pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Please call us to get legal help (appointment time needed).

Sunshine

Visy Cares Hub, 80B Harvester Road, Sunshine VIC 3020 | Mail: PO Box 627, Sunshine VIC 3020

Tel: + 61 3 9749 7720
Fax: + 61 3 9749 8276
Email:  admin@westjustice.org.au

Office hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9.30am-1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.30pm. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)

Drop-in service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.30am-4.30pm, for people up to 25 years old ONLY. (Office currently closed due to COVID-19 situation)