What to do if your mortgage lender starts court action

What to do when you get to court

Coronavirus update: repossessions are on hold

The Financial Conduct Authority has said that mortgage lenders shouldn't start or continue court action for repossession until at least 31 October.

That means they must not go to court for a repossession order or ask bailiffs to evict you.

You can ask your lender for support if you're struggling because of coronavirus.

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.

Get to court at least 30 minutes before your hearing. The court won’t wait if you're late.

What to bring

You should bring 3 copies of all your paperwork. Paperwork includes anything that proves your income and outgoings, like a financial statement

If you don't have a financial statement you could bring documents like bank statements or payslips. 

You should also bring:

  • a pen and paper to take notes
  • notes of what you want to say

When you first arrive

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.

Tell the usher if you need to briefly leave the court building. You shouldn’t leave the court building for a long time.

Help from the county court duty scheme

Ask to speak to a duty adviser if you don’t 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. 

Don't feel pressured into agreeing repayment terms that you can’t afford. You can wait for the judge to look at your case.

You can also ask a duty adviser to speak on your behalf.

When you go in

The hearing takes place in a room called chambers. This is usually a small room with desks and chairs. The judge will usually be in normal business wear.

The court usher will call your name, take you to the room and tell you where to sit.

The lender’s representative will be in the room with you and your adviser or solicitor.

The hearing usually lasts between 5 and 10 minutes.

Last updated 31 October 2019 | © Shelter

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