HOME owners in Torridge who are worried about maintaining their mortgage payments are reminded that they are able to get free advice and help from local charity Homemaker Southwest. Funded by the Devon Strategic Housing Group, Homemaker Southwest offer

HOME owners in Torridge who are worried about maintaining their mortgage payments are reminded that they are able to get free advice and help from local charity Homemaker Southwest.

Funded by the Devon Strategic Housing Group, Homemaker Southwest offers county-wide free, independent and confidential advice to homeowners about managing their mortgage payments during the current economic climate.

Torridge District Council Housing Options officers have been working closely with Homemaker Southwest in housing surgeries, but members of the public can also call them direct for advice and a mortgage pack.

Councillor Gaye Tabor, chairman of the Northern Devon Local Strategic Partnership, said: "In this current climate it's more important than ever that agencies work together and support each other whenever possible.

"The Homemaker Southwest Helpline receives calls daily from people who have either lost their jobs or had their hours reduced. It is encouraging that many of these people are seeking advice at a very early stage, even before they get into arrears with their payments.

"Homemaker Southwest listens to their concerns and points them in the right direction to obtain further help, as well as explaining about benefits and new government initiatives."

Amy Pamphilon, Caseworker Manager at Homemaker, said: "Mortgage arrears don't automatically lead to repossession and I would advise anyone who is struggling or thinks they may struggle to pay their mortgage to contact Homemaker for advice on all the available options."

For more information about Homemaker visit www.homemakersw.org.uk,

Anyone worried about not being able to maintain their mortgage payments can contact the dedicated telephone helpline on 01392 686760 for initial advice about their options as well as a free, comprehensive advice pack They can also speak to a Torridge Housing Options officer, on 01237 428849.