MORTGAGE stress expert Kat Lane will be in Lismore tomorrow night to deliver a free community forum on the subject at the Lismore Neighborhood Centre in Carrington St from 6:30pm.
As a longstanding advocate of law reform to benefit people in financial difficulty, Ms Lane has recently authored a handbook on the subject of mortgage stress, available for free at the event.
Steve Snelgrove of the Lismore & District Financial Counselling Service says mortgage stress is a worsening issue for many northern NSW households.
He has seen a 10% rise in cases of financial hardship over the last 12 months - many which involve mortgage-related stress - a trend he attributes to the flattening out of wages and house prices combined with consistent increases in living costs.
Mr Snelgrove says that some people are having to make major lifestyle decisions, such as handing their keys to the bank, and will in these cases probably never own a house again.
Three senior financial counsellors will also be available at the forum for informal advice.
The mortgage stress handbook is also available for free download from the Legal Aid website at legalaid.nsw.gov.au