It is important to consider that only a judge in a court can decide to repossess your home. Your lender or bank can not do this and there are set rules and practices that need to be followed by the law.
If the process is not done and followed correctly by the law then you will be able to stop or delay the eviction process.
IMPORTANT: If you are facing home repossession and need help then please speak to us to get specialist help from a home repossession expert. There are a number of unknown stratagies and solutions that can be put in place to prevent you either losing your home or ruining your credit file through the repossession process.
Another way to prevent repossession is to sell your house quickly enough to repay what you owe. If you are able to sell your home then the judge will normally grant you the time to do. We can buy your house within 7 days if required, and because we pay cash this make the sale process much quicker that trying to sell on the open market.
Repossession is only a last resort if the judge feels there is no other options. The sooner you act the better chance you have of preventing repossession.
Mortgage arrears are the most common reason why a bank or mortgage lender would want to repossess your home
If you have fallen behind with your payments you will recieve a default notice letter. This is your lending letting you know formally that you have missed a payment.
Your lender at this point is going to ask you how you are going to repay what you owe and will want to know the reason why you have not been able to make the payment due.
If you continue to miss payments your lending is most likely then to start repossession proceedings against you.
What is the repossession process and the stages involved?
There are many stages to the process which involves going to court and defending your case.
The first stage: involves your lender writing to you (default notice) to explain that you have missed a payment and they will make a request for immediate payment of the arears.
The second stage: If you do not respond to this letter or fail to pay the arrears then they will write to you again with a Notice of Intended Prosecution – this letter explains that they intend to take you to court and start repossession proceedings against you.
It is very important that at this stage you do not egnore these letters and that you speak to your lender to explain your financial circumstances and to try and come to some agreement.
Make an arrangement with your lender on how you are going to repay what you owe
You may be able to come to a repayment agreement with what you owe, or to move your mortgage to an interest only mortgage to help reduce the monthly repayments to a more affordable level. Your lender will have lots of experience with trying to help customers who are struggling to meet their repayments.
An arrangement may given you some breathing space and time for you to get back on your feet with your finances.
Selling your house quickly
It is at this stage that you should consider selling your house, moving on and perhaps renting a home elsewhere or moving in with a family member or friend. This will enable you to pay off the mortgage balance and any arrears. You’ll avoid the repossession process and you will be able to maintain your credit rating and prevent any further damage to your credit file.
Stage 3 – The court summons and repossession hearing
At the repossession hearing normally the only people present will be the judge, yourself and the lenders or bank solicitor.
The judge will listen to the evidence from the solicitor and listen to what you have to say before making any decisions.
It is at this stage the judge will give you every opportunity to prevent repossession and to come up with solutions to avoid it.
- Are you able to sell your home and pay off what you owe? If so the judge will grant you extra time to do this. This is why it is so important to be able to sell your house quickly enough.
- Are you able to pay off the arrears or be able to lend the money from elsewhere to pay what you owe?
- Come to any short term repayment agreement with the lender to back what you owe and prevent the repossession from going any further.
At this stage the judge will decide to either:
- Strike-it-out: This means stop the court action on the grounds that your lender has no case against you. This will happen if by the date of your court hearing you have repaid the outstanding arrears or in some cases if you can prove you have an agreed sale for the property which can repay all the mortgage.
- Adjourn: This means delay the case until an later date, usually 4 weeks. This is to give you chance to sell your house yourself if for instance you committed to doing so, it will help your case if you can show the judge that you have started this process – for example have a cash offer for your house.
- A Suspended Repossession Order: This is an agreement that is reached between yourself and the mortgage lender to repay the arrears you owe, usually by installments. However this is still a type of repossession order, so if you do not keep to your agreed payment plan or do not sell your house in the given time the lender can obtain a bailiffs warrant to evict you without any further court hearings. Find out more here: Help with a suspended repossession order
- A Possession Order: Repossess your house and set a date for eviction, this is typically a 28 day or a 56 day possession order, after which point if you have not left the property the lender can apply to the court for a bailiffs warrant to physically evict yourself and your possessions.
Legal Rights The 4th Stage – The repossession
If the judge decides that your home is to be repossessed and makes a possession order in favour of the bank or mortgage lender, the court order will set a date for you to leave. If you have not left by that date, your lender will apply to the court for a bailiff’s warrant.
It is at this stage that the bailiffs will write to tell you when the eviction is going to take place, and when they come, they can remove you and your possessions from your home.
Important note: There is no negotiating with the bailiffs at this stage; they just do their job and evict the debtor from their home as quickly as possible.
Contact us if you need help
Please dont go through the repossession process alone – please speak to us to see how we can help you avoid losing your to repossession
p>Other useful repossession articles:
- Voluntary repossession advice
- Repossession law & legal terms used
- Help with a suspended repossession order
Best Wishes, Susan