Knowing Your Rights With House Repossession
When we buy a home the very last thing on our minds is having it repossessed. As far as we are aware it is ours until we are ready to sell and move on. But, sometimes, things can spiral out of control so fast and it could be that before you know it you are facing repossession. When you do find yourself in a situation where homelessness could become a reality, it is scary and you probably don’t know your rights let alone what to do first.
Well, firstly – don’t panic! This is easier said than done when you could potentially lose your home, but this post is here to help. It will take you through your rights and you will soon find that there are ways to delay, if not stop, the repossession happening.
Don’t worry on your own – speak to the experts who will be able to help you find the right answers.
You can speak to any of the following, for free:
- Citizens Advice
- National Debtline
- Your local council
Now, there are certain things your mortgage lender must do before they can repossess your home and even before it goes to court. One of those is considering a request from you to change the way you pay your mortgage and responding to your offer.
If they don’t want to accept your offer they must give you a reason within 10 days and give you a reasonable amount of time to consider any proposal they make.
If they do plan to start court action they need to give you 15 days written warning, with the date and time of the hearing.
If court action is started – all is not lost – you may still be able to reach an agreement. Even if the lender starts the repossession proceedings, you can fill in a defence form explaining why you don’t think they should repossess your home. The court will send this to you and you must return it within 14 days.
Worried about how you are going to afford to go through the courts when you are already struggling with money? You may be able to get legal aid, which will help you with the costs.
If you do have to attend a hearing you can take an adviser or friend with you. However, you must attend court – if you don’t the lender may be given the right to evict you. Likewise, if you don’t stick to any agreements made in court you could still lose your home. You are likely to be asked for proof of your finances during the hearing and so will need payslips, bank statements, etc.
Your home can only be repossessed if the court allows it and makes a repossession order – but even now you could still apply for a suspension or appeal the judges decision.
You, of course, still have the opportunity to sell your home – so the process is done under your terms and your home isn’t repossessed. Simply go to a cash buyer rather than through an estate agent and you could sell your home within a week. This will provide you with the money you need to get back on your feet. Click here for more information on stopping house repossession.