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What to do if your mortgage lender starts court action

Go to your repossession hearing

Your hearing will take place at a county court.

The claim form has the date, time and address of your hearing.

The hearing will only last about 10 minutes. But you might have to wait.

A solicitor or duty scheme adviser can speak for you, or you can speak for yourself.

Often only you, your adviser or solicitor, the lender's representative and the judge will be in the room.

Free legal help at the court

A duty adviser can look at your case and speak for you at the hearing.

You can get this help no matter what your income is or how much your house is worth.

Arrive at court early

Get to the court building 30 minutes before the time on the claim form.

You may have to go through security and bag checks before you go in.

Tell the court straight away if you cannot attend, for example because of serious illness or a family emergency.

Read more about what to expect at the court on GOV.UK.

Ask for the court usher at reception

The usher will tell you which room your hearing will be in and where to wait.

Tell the usher you want to see the duty adviser if you do not already have legal help.

Bring 3 copies of all the evidence you have

Show your adviser:

  • the defence form

  • an income and spending sheet

  • proof of income, such as payslips or details of benefits

  • evidence if you’re selling your home, for example letters about a sale

  • letters if your situation will change very soon, such as a new job offer

  • any letters you have from your lender

If you have made a payment recently it might not show up yet on the lender's records so bring evidence, like a bank statement.

Your adviser will use the evidence and show relevant documents to the judge.

Read notes about what you want to say

Make notes before the hearing about what you want to say.

Share your notes with any joint owners before the hearing to help you agree on what you will say.

You can ask your adviser to look at your notes so you feel more confident.

Wait for the judge to look at your case

The lender’s representative may approach you while you're waiting to go in to the hearing.

They might ask you to agree to a repayment proposal.

Do not feel under pressure to talk to them at this stage.

You can ask your adviser to negotiate on your behalf if you want.

Last updated: 6 March 2023

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