We are often asked “What is the house repossession procedure?” & “How does the house repossession process work?”
Firstly your mortgage lender or bank will normally write to you to tell you that you are in default of your mortgage payments and state the amount owed/to pay. They will also ask you to call or contact them to discuss the situation.
If you choose to ignore this letter (which we recommended you don’t!) then your lender will send you another letter called “Notice of Intended Prosecution”.
Also, if you do repond and they do not agree with your response then they can then also send you a “Notice of Intended Prosecuton”. It is important to note that your bank or lender should always be reasonable and fair when dealing with your response or offer to pay back what you owe.
They may then apply to the local court for a repossession order. This means that the lender will ask the court to give them your home (to be repossessed) – to be sold at auction to clear the debts outstanding.
Here are some important steps you can do to help at this stage:
- Ask for a mortgage payment break to enable you to get on top of your arrears – to get back on track with your finances
- Ask for more time to pay the arrears that are outstanding – perhaps 6 or 12 months.
- Ask for the mortgage arrears to be combined with the original loan – and a new payment plan to be drawn up.
- Ask for time to sell your house and clear the mortgage/arrears. If you are already in the process of selling then let them know this and what stage of the process you are at.
- If you have an elderly relative living at the property then let them know that by repossessing their home this may make someone who is vulnerable homeless.
After your lender has made the application the court will then write to you to let you know this. At this stage – don’t panic there is still plenty of time. Your home will not be taken away at this stage.
Your local county court will send you the following paperwork.
- Copies of the claim for possession forms that have been completed by your bank/lender/
- A court hearing date
- A blank defence form for your to complete and how to complete it guidance notes.
- The contact details of the court and how you can get in touch if you have any questions or require advice.
- Further information on organisations that offer free advice and help for those facing repossession.
Read: How to complete the “Defence Form” here.
Best Wishes, John
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Great article and some sound advice here.