What really happens in a house repossession? Here’s a quick walk through of the things that you can expect in a house repossession process: |
1. When you fail to pay your mortgage repayments you fall into mortgage arrears. Naturally, the mortgage lender would want to collect the debt that you owe to them. If you can’t they would be constrained to proceed with court action. This action is called a possession action. If allowed to go its course, a possession action may cause you to lose your home in a house repossession.
The first thing to remember when facing a possession action is not to panic. Try to talk to your mortgage lender before the action is filed in court. However if it does go into court, do not despair for there are still remedies that you can resort to.
2. Your mortgage lender cannot just file a court action against you. Under the rules set by the Financial Services Authority the mortgage lender is under the obligation to treat you fairly and give you a chance to pay off your debts and to consider any requests you may have regarding the term of your mortgage. These actions or steps are collectively referred to as “pre-action protocol” and will be considered by the court if the action does proceed.
You are also expected to do your part in the protocol. You are expected to keep in touch with your lender, act fairly and to try to make arrangements in order to pay for your arrears. The mortgage lender cannot proceed with court action while you are in the process of negotiating repayment terms.
3. When the mortgage lender does file court action for house repossession, you will receive a claim for possession containing the full details of the action from the county court. You will also receive a defence form which you must fill out with information on your personal and financial circumstances and the steps that you have taken and are taking in order to fulfill your mortgage obligation. You can get help and advice on this matter from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
4. Once the court action is filed you will get between three to eight weeks before the hearing takes place so that should buy you some time. If within this period you come to an agreement with the lender, make sure that they inform the court and file for a suspension of the possession order, otherwise the action filed would still push through as scheduled.
Remember it is always best to consult professionals who are well-versed in the matter to help you deal with the problem. If you feel that you are in over your head in a conflict for house repossession, look for a reliable firm or individual who can provide you with sound advice. There are government agencies tasked to do this for you. If you wish to consult an independent adviser, make sure you choose one who is reliable and trustworthy.
An action for a house repossession does not have to lead to actually losing your home; however, you must act fast and do not put off defending your home.
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