The prospect of having your home repossessed is terrifying. You may be able to stop or postpone the repossession of your home with the help of one of our legal team. Postponing repossession involves being granted a suspension of the ‘warrant for repossession’. This will allow you to stay in your home for longer. Roskell Davies can give you legal advice prior to court action and can represent you in court. We can also give you legal support if you think your home is being illegally repossessed.
If you are facing repossession, one thing is utterly vital. Do not ignore the situation. Repossession happens in stages and you may be able to prevent repossession at any point along this line. You may be able to negotiate an alternative way of paying your mortgage with your lender, gain help from your local housing authority, or negotiate a sale and rent back agreement. The most important thing is to be proactive and to find out how and where you can get help.
The Repossession Process
Your mortgage lender must follow the correct procedure for a repossession to be legal. Repossession is always a last resort, not a first.
– Initial contact: Your lender will contact you via post informing you of the legal reason for repossession. This most commonly mortgage arrears, you will be given a chance to contact them to discuss your financial circumstances and payment options for the missed payments. Take this opportunity and respond to all their calls and letters or you are more likely to be taken to court.
– Repayment proposals: You must make a proposal of how you are going to repay your arrears. If you make an agreement of how to repay your mortgage arrears your lender should stop repossession proceedings. If you default on this agreement proceedings will recommence.
– Reasons: If they do not agree to your proposal of repayment, they should give you reasons why they have turned your agreement down within 10 days. They may suggest an alternative repayment plan or the case may be referred to a solicitor at this point.
– Legal help: Once a solicitor becomes involved you must also contact a lawyer, Roskells will be just a phone call away at this point. If you have a low income you should be able to apply for legal aid to fund the cost of a solicitor. You will be given ten days to repay your arrears or propose another repayment plan. In this time it is very much still worth negotiating with your lender, you may still be able to avoid court.
– Notice: If your lender is planning on taking you to court for a repossession hearing you must be given 15 days written warning, informed of the time and date of hearing and they must inform your council of their intentions 5 days before the hearing. You will be sent paperwork including a ‘claim form’ which you must complete and return. You must attend court in all circumstances, unless the hearing is cancelled or postponed.
– Repossession hearing: your case will result in adjournment, dismissal, a ruling to allow you to stay in the property under certain conditions, a ruling to allow you time to sell your home to repay your debt, or an eviction.
– Possession order: In the case of eviction the court will set a date you must vacate the property. If you do not vacate the property by the given date a bailiff’s warrant will be applied for and they will repossess the property. Bailiffs have the power to remove you from your home.
All initial repossession enquiries are offered completely free of charge. Call us free on 0800 142 2901 or fill in an online enquiry. We will do all we can to help you at this difficult time.