What is a repossession hearing & what happens?
Before you attend the hearing it is important that you obtain some free advice with someone (such as us) who understands the repossession hearing process and what is involved.
The repossession hearing is a legal meeting that takes place in the court and is carried out by a judge. In attendance would be yourself (the defendant) and your mortgage provider or bank (the claimant) – which is usually their solicitor.
Firstly the judge will be asked to provide evidence and information on why they wish to repossess your house and take it away from you.
After the claimant has provided the evidence it will then be your turn to provide any information or evidence that will help the judge to make a decision about the repossession of your home. If you feel there may be a solution – you can still speak to your mortgage company/bank on the hearing day to find a way forward and an alternative to repossession.
Before the hearing and before you go to court it is essential that you are prepared.
Write down all of the points you wish the judge to know about. For example:
- If you wish to offer a payment plan – at this point show the judge any evidence of letters you have sent to the mortgage company/bank.
- If you believe the mortgage interest to be too high.
- Details of your income and expenses.
- If you have any children living with you.
- If you need time to sell your house.
- If the claimaint (mortgage company/bank) is wrong or they have not got the correct details.
After this the judge will then consider all the options and solutions available before making a final decision.
The repossession of your house will be the last resort if no other solutions are available.
The judge can then do any of the following:
- Strike it out – This means that your lender has no case and will stop the court action. This will happen if by the day of the hearing you have repaid all the arrears or agreed to sell your property and are paying off the mortgage in full.
- Money order – This is an order that states how much you must pay the lender/bank. If you do not make the payments then the court can take action to recover the money from you. Including deducting the money from your wages or bank account.
- Suspend the repossession – read more about suspended repossession here.
- Outright repossession order – this is when the judge decides that there is no other option but to repossess your house. The judge will notify you of how long you have to move out of your house after this has been granted. The time you have is usually 28 days. If you feel you need more time then tell the judge if you believe it will take longer to find somewhere else to live as you may be granted more time.
After the hearing you may appeal the decision – advice is available from the court on how to do this.
Best Wishes, John