Find out how to get free legal advice and representation if you're facing mortgage repossession.
You may be able to get help from:
- a duty adviser at court
- a legal aid adviser or solicitor if your lender takes court action
- a debt adviser if you’re struggling to pay
Help at court from a duty adviser
Most county courts have legal advisers or solicitors available at the times when repossession hearings are scheduled. This is called a court duty scheme.
A duty adviser can help if your mortgage lender is taking court action to evict you. They can give advice and speak on your behalf.
Legal help from a duty adviser is always free, regardless of your earnings or how much your property is worth.
How to get help from the duty adviser
If you have a review you can get advice on the review date. You don’t have to go to court, but the notice of review will tell you how to get in touch with the duty adviser by phone.
They may be able to help you agree a repayment plan with your lender or tell the judge if your lender hasn’t followed the rules.
If you have a possession hearing, then you can get advice and representation from a duty adviser at court.
You can get advice even if you've already made an arrangement with your lender. It's always a good idea as there may be other options.
A duty adviser can still help if you have a phone or video hearing. The notice of possession hearing will tell you how to contact them.
Help through legal aid
You may be able to get help through legal aid if your lender is taking steps to repossess your home. That includes if the home you live in is at risk due to:
- mortgage arrears possession action
- an order for sale on your home
Who can get legal aid
You qualify automatically if you get any of the following benefits:
- universal credit
- income support
- jobseeker's allowance (JSA) - income based
- employment and support allowance (ESA) - income related
- pension credit guarantee
You won't usually qualify if you have:
- a monthly income of over £2657 before tax
- savings or assets worth £8000 or more
- a home worth more than £308,000
If you get legal representation through legal aid you may have to repay some of the costs if you are successful in keeping your home. This is usually done by a charge being registered against the property that will be paid off when you sell or die.
How to get help through legal aid
Shelter may be able to provide legal help through one of our local hubs.
Search for a local service to see if we can help.
Other organisations that provide help through legal aid include:
You can find a full list of legal aid providers on GOV.UK
Civil Legal Advice
Civil Legal Advice is a service that provides advice through legal aid over the phone.
They can refer you to a local service if you need representation at court.
You can contact Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345
A debt adviser could help you to:
- manage your debts
- draw up a financial statement
- negotiate with your mortgage lender
You can get debt advice from a local Shelter service or Citizens Advice.
National Debtline also provide free phone advice for debt problems.
Last updated 30 October 2020 | © Shelter
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