Time orders toolkit

This toolkit and guidance helps borrowers' representatives ask the court to make a time order in response to a mortgage possession claim.

It contains template defences and counterclaims for:

  • borrowers who cannot afford the full monthly payment

  • mortgages at the end of the term with an outstanding balance

  • Consumer Credit Act 'back book' second mortgages

The templates can be used in addition to the N11M defence form from the court.

Submit the facts of the case to the court on the template witness statement.

When to use this toolkit

Borrowers can file a defence and counterclaim when they have received a possession claim from the court.

Find out more about time orders including:

  • when the court can make a time order

  • how to ask the court for a time order

  • what happens after the time order is made

Time orders in mortgage possession cases on Shelter Legal.

Template defence and counterclaims

Download template defences for defendants and their representatives to edit.

The defences contain the legal arguments to help defendants ask the court to make a time order in mortgage possession proceedings.

Defendants and their representatives are responsible for the documents they submit to the court.

Borrower cannot afford full payment

A mortgage borrower can ask the court to make a time order if they cannot afford the full contractual instalment of a regulated mortgage contract for a temporary period.

The borrower must show how much they can afford using an income and expenditure statement. They should include evidence of how and when their financial circumstances are likely to improve.

Download a defence and counterclaim to help a borrower ask for a time order if they cannot afford the full monthly payment.

Defence and counterclaim

Interest only mortgage at end of term

An interest only mortgage could have an outstanding balance at the end of the mortgage term. The court can make a time order to set new instalments for the borrower to pay off what they owe.

Download a template defence and counterclaim for interest only mortgages with an outstanding balance at the end of the mortgage term.

Defence and counterclaim

Consumer Credit Act secured loan before March 2016

The Consumer Credit Act 1974 regulated second mortgages before 21 March 2016.

Second mortgages were regulated if they were:

  • below financial thresholds at the point the loan was taken out

  • not exempt because of the nature of the lender or the borrower

The borrower can ask for a time order if they cannot afford the repayments, or if they have an outstanding balance at the end of the loan.

Download the defence and counterclaim for back book Consumer Credit Act secured loans.

Defence and counterclaim

Example witness statement

This example witness statement helps borrowers explain the facts of their case to the court.

A witness statement must be in the borrowers own words. This document provides prompts for people to ensure they have included all the relevant information. It contains the statement of truth required by the Civil Procedure Rules.

Download and edit the example witness statement.

Example witness statement

Find more resources on time orders

Information and resources for professionals and members of the public.

Shelter Legal

Read more about Time orders in mortgage possession claims.

Read more about Witness statements in civil claims.

Find out Where to get debt and money advice.

Shelter's Specialist Debt Advice Service

Find a quick reference guide for duty advisers by Shelter's Specialist Debt Advice Service for fast answers to questions about time orders.

The service can advise professionals dealing with debt cases for the public, including mortgage repossession.

Find out more about Shelter's Specialist Debt Advice Service.

Information and advice for the public

National Debtline has a factsheet on Time orders for mortgages.

Shelter's online housing advice has a section on Mortgage repossession.