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What to do if your mortgage lender starts court action

You can take action now to keep your home.

Letters from the court mean your lender has applied to repossess your home, but there are things you can do.

Ask a debt adviser about Breathing Space. This pauses court action while you get advice.

The judge can let you keep your home if you have a good plan.

Summary of steps you can take

This guide shows you what you can do if your lender starts court action.

1. As your first step:

  • get free debt advice and legal help

  • look at your income, spending and other debts

  • work out a repayment plan you can afford

  • decide what to do if you cannot pay back the arrears

2. To get ready for court:

  • read all the court documents

  • return the defence form

3. When you arrive at court:

  • get there early and ask for the usher at reception

  • ask for the duty adviser if you do not have legal representation

  • bring as much evidence as you can and notes about what you want to say

  • do not feel pressured to agree to repayments you cannot afford

4. During the hearing:

  • wait for your turn to speak and do not interrupt

  • be polite when you answer any questions from the judge

  • show how you can repay your arrears within your mortgage term

  • ask for time to sell if you cannot make a repayment offer

Read the steps in the guide for more detail.

Last updated: 6 March 2023

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