Find out when you can get free legal advice and representation if you're facing mortgage repossession.
Civil Legal Advice national helpline
You may qualify for free telephone advice if the home you live in is at risk due to:
- mortgage arrears possession action
- an order for sale on your home
- involuntary bankruptcy
Contact Civil Legal Advice on 0345 345 4 345
An operator will check your situation and if you qualify for advice.
If you do, they'll arrange a telephone appointment with a housing or debt adviser.
The adviser can provide advice over the phone which gets confirmed in writing. They may also be able to write to the lender or court or refer you on to a solicitor.
Who can get help
Civil Legal Advice (CLA) is funded by legal aid. This means your income and assets have to be below a set level to get advice or representation.
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
Help at court on the day of your hearing
It's always best to try and get legal advice before the hearing.
You may be able to get help from an adviser or solicitor on the day if you haven't.
This type of emergency help is called a county court duty scheme or housing possession duty scheme.
You can get free advice regardless of your income or how much your home is worth.
The adviser takes details of your situation and can go in with you to speak to the judge.
County court duty schemes can help with:
- repossession hearings
- applications to suspend bailiff's warrants
- hearings where a creditor has applied for an order for sale
Arrive at court at least 30 minutes early if you want to speak to a duty adviser. They won't be able to spend too long on your case so it helps if you have a financial statement prepared.
Advice from a housing or debt charity
You can contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person if your home is at risk because of mortgage arrears or repossession.
The following charities also provide free debt advice:
Last updated 04 Nov 2019 | © Shelter
If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help