Mortgage possession proceedings
Process for mortgage possession proceedings including types of orders the court can make to allow a borrower to keep their home.
Last updated: 6 April 2023
Rules for bringing a possession claim and sending notices, filing a defence, and the court powers during the hearing.
Legal background to court action for mortgage arrears. Lender's remedies differ depending on when mortgages were taken out.
The steps the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires lenders to take before commencing court action.
Borrowers should check mortgage documents for defects, amounts claimed for accuracy and lender’s behaviour for violations of borrower’s rights.
Borrowers should complete the defence form and return it to the court, collect evidence and attend the hearing in judge’s chambers.
Judges can make orders ranging from granting outright possession to dismissing the claim if it should not have been issued.
A time order allows the court to reduce contractual monthly mortgage payments or extend the term of the loan when a mortgage lender has started possession action.
This toolkit and guidance helps borrowers' representatives ask the court to make a time order in response to a mortgage possession claim.
Ways a borrower can apply to the court to challenge, alter or discharge a possession order. This advice applies only to residential mortgages.
Bailiffs enforce possession warrants after the lender obtained them from court and served a notice on occupiers.
Court powers after repossession, the lender's duties to take care of the property and a reasonable price when selling the property.
Borrowers may sell the property to obtain a better price either during or after possession proceedings, and lenders rarely want to stop the sale.
Lenders of second charge loans must comply with the pre-action protocol and potentially additional requirements before taking possession action.
Borrowers' powers to grant tenancies, whether a tenancy is binding on the lender, and how tenants of borrowers can become involved in possession proceedings against their landlord