Is your mortgage company threatening repossession proceedings?
If you have fallen behind on the repayments on your mortgage or secured loan, your lender may start court proceedings against you to repossess your property. We know that falling into arrears can be caused by a number of difficulties, including a change in your financial circumstances, illness or the breakdown of a relationship. Repossession proceedings can be scary, but getting expert advice early can give you the best opportunity of resolving the matter with your mortgage company.
Lenders have to follow certain rules before they can start possession proceedings . The Courts view proceedings as the last resort, and therefore it is important that you don’t try and ignore the proceedings.
To help you resolve your mortgage arrears problems, the rules say that both you and your lender should discuss:
- the reason for your arrears
- your financial circumstances
- whether the situation is temporary or long-term
- what you can do to repay the arrears.
Your lender must consider any proposals you make for repayments of the arrears and any other reasonable options you suggest for keeping your home. If your proposals are not accepted, your lender must explain why. Your lender should also look at what a reasonable proposal would be and discuss their proposals with you.
Your mortgage lender shouldn’t start repossession proceedings if:
- You have made a claim under a mortgage payment protection policy and you are likely to get a payment (and can cover any shortfall).
- You have applied for support for mortgage interest (SMI), and it is likely that you will receive a payment (and will be able to pay any shortfall yourself).
- You are taking active steps to sell the property at a realistic price.
- You have made a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) about the potential possession claim.
Sometimes, you may be able to challenge the loan or mortgage for a more technical reason – such as if it doesn’t comply with the requirements of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, of if you were missold PPI. It is important to get advice early to see if you may have a defence.
Legal aid may be available to defend mortgage possession proceedings, and we will always assess you for legal aid.
Our specialist Housing Team is the largest in the North East and represents clients facing mortgage repossession proceedings in all of the local Courts. We can offer same day appointments in our Newcastle and South Shields offices. We can attend hearings with you and liaise with your mortgage company on your behalf and have an excellent reputation for successfully settling cases.