If you have missed payments on your mortgage then your lender may be inclined to take you to court in order to repossess your home. This blog will give you some advice on how to prepare for your court date, what you will need and what you should do when you get to court.
When your lender decides to take court action against you, you will receive court papers which will include full details of the case against you and the evidence that your mortgage lender will provide to the court. These court papers will also inclulde a ‘defence form’ this is where you can explain your side of the story and why you should be able to stay in your home. When you get these papers you should immediately seek advice, as you may be able to change your agreement with your lender and stop the repossession.
Within this form you should put as much detail as possible of your current financial and personal circumstances and what you have done/are planning to do to get back on track with your mortgage payments. This is also where you should fill out if you disagree with anything the lender has said, if you think you have been treated unfairly by your lender or if you think they haven’t followed protocol when dealing with your arrears.
You should send this form back within 14 days of receiving it and make sure you keep a copy for reference in court.
This is the date when the court will first look at your case, this is a chance to stop you having to go to court, where they will look at both your lender’s evidence and yours. On this date, you will not be in court but you should be near your phone in case they want to clarify any details. You should seek advice from the duty advisor and try to settle with your lender out of court, and devise a plan with them as to how you will repay what you owe.
If you are unable to reach an agreement then this is when you will go to court for a ‘possession hearing’, it will most likely be at least 4 weeks after your review date.
You must attend the hearing! If you cannot attend then make sure you let the court know as soon as possible.
Things you may need in court:
- The Defence Form
- Letters between you and your Lender
- A financial Statement
- Proof of payments since the possession claim
- If you have applied for any loans or claims and are still waiting on them, make sure you take evidence of this to the court.
- Any insurance paperwork from a payment protection policy
- If you are in the process of selling the property to repay your debts then provide proof of this
A judge will carry out the hearing and may provide you with help if you do not have a legal adviser with you. The judge will go through the proceedings and evidence from both parties and make sure that evicting you from your home is the absolute last resort and that there are no other options. They make the decision there and then if it is a simple case if not then the case may be put on hold whilst the decision is made.