The biggest debt in most people’s lives is their mortgage. If there are problems in paying the mortgage, your home may be repossessed. If you are in arrears you should try to pay as much as you can on a regular basis, even
after court action has been started.
How does the process begin?
The process for repossession is usually that your lender or their solicitor, contacts you, asking for the arrears to be paid. If they are not satisfied with your response, they will write informing you that they are going to start court action. They can then apply to the local county court for a possession order.
What should I do if I receive a court summons?
The court will issue a summons - a letter - to inform you when a hearing is to take place. When you hear from the court, if you have not already done so, you should take legal advice immediately about what to do next. It is very important to reply to the court summons. Failing to reply can harm your case. An adviser may be able to help you prepare for the hearing, gather evidence and/or negotiate with the other side.
What happens when I go to court?
In court, the judge will hear evidence from you and your lender or freeholder before making a decision. The judge may:
- adjourn the case
- strike it out
- allow you to stay in the subject to certain conditions, such as repaying the
- arrears in instalments, or
- give you time to sell your property to avoid repossession, or decide that you should be evicted
What happens if the repossession order is granted?
If the judge decides that your home is to be repossessed, the court order will asset a date for you to leave. If you have not left by that date, your lender or freeholder must apply to the court for a bailiff's warrant. The bailiffs will write to tell you when the eviction is to take place, when they can remove you from your home.
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