Over recent months I have helped a number of people having their homes repossessed, and been to Court with them.
For many people, the fear that they will lose their home, sends them into a blind panic. They are too embarrassed to talk to anyone they know about it, and will often try to seek advice from a number of sources such as:
- Citizens Advice
- go online to seek help from companies offering “fast cash house sale” or “repossession prevention”.
As I have mentioned before, I am not a huge fan of Citizens Advice with regard to debt issues, unless you are lucky enough to meet a debt specialist there. And if they are debt specialist, they will often be a specialist from a financial or debt help company background…and will probably never have experienced the fear of being hounded by debt collectors, bailiffs or mortgage companies.
A charity, so you would expect to get some good free advice here, but according to clients who have eventually come to me for help, they have told me that they are referred on to solicitors who charge a minimum of £800 payment upfront before any consultation begins. And for that fee, they aren’t even represented at the Court hearing.
Fast Cash House Sale & Repossession Prevention Companies Online:
For the uninitiated, most companies who advertise “stop home repossession” or “get a fast cash sale” are in fact property investors who want to buy your property (you are a “distressed seller” in their terminology and you are therefore like the proverbial “pot of gold” for them). Under no circumstances sell your property to one of the many property investors advertising these services.
Then there are other “Stop Home Repossession” services which masquerade as charities when they are not. How can a charity pass you on to a “Home Rescue Co-Ordinator” who charges a minimum of £700 to write a defence letter for you to take to Court on your own, without any additional support? Not exactly a charity!
At Moneybuddy, we don’t claim to be a charity because we aren’t – we specialist in free debt advice via our blog and stopping home repossessions by helping clients go through the repossession and eviction process run through UK County Courts. And we don’t buy properties from distressed sellers either, because we don’t think it is ethical.
How To Stop Your Home Being Repossessed – What You Can Do Yourself :
It is possible to represent yourself in the whole repossession/eviction process if you know what you are doing, but it is really not for the faint-hearted. Below we outline how you can help defend yourself in these cases.
If you have got to the stage where your mortgage company is threatening you with repossession, or they have issued the first repossession hearing, you are likely to be given a Suspended Repossession Order, if you can make a case for keeping your property and explaining why you have arrears. You must also be able to demonstrate that your situation has changed since you developed the arrears and can pay the arrears off going forward. I would recommend you take a copy of an Income & Expenditure form with you, which you can do on an Excel spreadsheet, or just write down on a piece of paper. You need to be able to prove that you have additional income left at the end of the month, which you can use to pay arrears.
Remember, at the moment, the Courts are under instruction to repossess a property as a very last resort and I know people who have fought off up to 8 eviction /repossession hearings by going back to Court (I’ve helped one of them win his repossession case!). So give the Judge every opportunity to find in your favour, and not the mortgage company’s!
Once you have received a Suspended Repossession Order, you need to stick exactly to the payment dates and amounts as agreed in the Court Order. If you are claiming Housing Benefit, you need to make sure your housing office knows the dates and that you have a Suspended Repossession Order on your home, and the importance of you being paid on time.
If you don’t pay on time, you may have a further one or two months, depending on your mortgage lender, to stop the repossession or eviction. If you do get notice of Eviction, this will be through the local County Court system and you will receive a time and date for the Eviction.
You then need to go IN PERSON to your local County Court and apply for an N244 Form (To Stop Eviction Warrant). You can download this here from the HMC website but you will still need to take it in to your local County Court office between 10am and 2pm any week day.
It costs about £80 to file your N244 form to apply for a Court Hearing to stop the proposed eviction. You can apply for a Remission of Fees (EX160 form download) based on low disposable income (even if you are working or self-employed) or are on Income Support/Job Seekers Allowance if you cannot afford the fees. You will need to supply 3 months bank statements and an Income & Expenditure form to support your claim for Remission of Fees.
You can stop eviction warrants using this form and by going to Court to represent yourself at the Repossession Hearing. This is more or less your last chance to stop the eviction date, bar being able to prove that you have achieved a sale on your property, or you can pay the arrears in full to your mortgage company before the eviction date.
You will normally complete the N244 and ask for a District Judge to hear the case, but in exceptional circumstances, or when all else has failed, ask for it to be heard by a Circuit Judge. You will be asked to attend Court or send a Solicitor to represent you, which is often very costly.
Need Support Going To Court For Your Hearing? Moneybuddy Can Help:
Now this all sounds very daunting and it often is, due to the pressure of the situation, and even people with the strongest personalities and utmost confidence can often crumble in front of a lender’s solicitor, or the Judge during a hearing.
For a simpler solution, speak to us about our Home Rescue Service – we can come and support you in Court plus produce your defence paperwork for the Court hearing.
Call us on 07975 999096
or use our Contact Form below to contact us – we aim to respond as quickly as possible.
If you are facing repossession of your home or buy-to-let property, please complete this form and give us as much information as possible. This information is 100% confidential and will not be disclosed to any 3rd parties