The 5 stages of repossession

Facing repossession can be one of the most traumatic times in any home owners life. So we have broken down the process into 5 stages to help you cope and prepare.

Stage 1
If you miss more than 2 months of mortgage payments then your mortgage provider may start the repossession process. But in most cases they will contact you and try to come to an agreement where the arrears will get paid without the need for legal action and will stop repossession.

Stage 2
If these conditions are not met and you still don’t pay then the mortgage provider or their legal team will write a warning of legal action, they will then apply to the court for a repossession order.

Stage 3
The court will make a summons, which is where the court will “summon” you to court, providing a date and time for your hearing. At this point you should contact a legal professional and reply to the court as it may harm your case if you don’t.

Stage 4
The next stage of the process is for you to attend the hearings, if you fail to do so, the judge will more than likely award the possession order against you as you have failed to give evidence. When you go to your hearing the judge will listen to evidence from both you and your mortgage lender and the make a decision on an outcome. These are the following possibilities.

Case dismissed – this happens if the arrears have been paid off so the repossession stops.
Case adjourned – This is when the hearing is postponed for a whatever reason, meaning the hearing will be rescheduled for a later date
Suspended Possession Order – If you agreed to pay the regular monthly payments as well as an amount towards the arrears for each month, then the judge can suspend the possession if he is convinced that you can make these payments. If you default on the agreed terms, the lender can seek possession by eviction or possession warrant without a further hearing.
Possession order – This allows the lender to take possession of your property after the possession order date. This result usually comes about if the judge finds out you haven’t contacted the lender or the court, or if he believes you cannot afford the payments you have agreed to.

Stage 5
If you don’t make the payments agreed to in the Suspended possession order or you have not moved out after the possession order date, the lender can apply for a warrant of eviction notice. This means you will get a letter telling you, that you have 7 or 14 days to leave the property. On the date you are meant to leave a bailiff will arrive to take possession.

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