What to do if your mortgage lender starts court action

What to do at the hearing

Mortgage repossession hearings usually take place in your local county court. The letter you get from the court tells you the address and the time of your hearing.

It’s important to attend the hearing. You should tell the court as soon as possible if you cannot go. You may be able to attend by phone or video.

Check the latest coronavirus guidance for what to do when you have a court hearing and you need to self isolate. The legal requirement to self isolate when you have coronavirus ended on 24 February 2022.

What to bring

You should bring 3 copies of all your paperwork, including:

  • the defence form if you have not submitted it

  • a financial statement if you have one

  • proof of income, such as payslips or benefit awards

  • evidence if you’re selling, such as letters about a sale

If a payment was made recently the lender's records may not have been updated, so bring evidence, for example a bank statement.  

It’s a good idea to prepare notes about what you want to say.

When you get to court

When you arrive go to reception and ask for the court usher.

The usher will tell you what room your hearing will be in. You'll have to wait for your case to be called.

You’ll need to follow court guidance on face coverings and social distancing

Get advice at court

Ask to speak to the duty adviser if you do not have a solicitor or adviser with you.

You can get free advice regardless of your income or how much your home is worth.

A duty adviser can assess your case before you go in and speak for you in the hearing.

If the lender’s representative speaks to you

The lender’s representative may approach you before the hearing to try and negotiate.

Do not feel pressured into agreeing repayment terms that you cannot afford. You should wait for the judge to look at your case.

You can also ask a duty adviser to negotiate with them for you.

During the hearing

The hearing will only last about 15 minutes.

You can speak for yourself or your solicitor can speak for you.

If your adviser is not a solicitor, they can speak for you if they are part of the court's duty scheme or work under the supervision of a solicitor.

Otherwise they must ask the judge for permission.

Last updated: 24 February 2022

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