If you fall behind on your mortgage or rent repayments then your lender or landlord has every right to reclaim their property back, even if you are only a few months behind. When you receive the official letters in the post it can be quite a frightening experience but it is important to stay calm and seek professional advice about what course of action to take.
If you are renting then the landlord will send you a claim form in the post as will the lender if you are the homeowner. This is the first official step towards repossession. Make sure that you open any official letters that do arrive as they will need to be dealt with as soon as possible; brushing the idea under the carpet is not going to stop the repossession going ahead. In the claim form it will state what the landlord and lender are claiming for, normally this is for any arrears owing and the keys back to the property. There will also be a form with the claim form called an N11M, which is a form of defence. You will need to complete this within 14 days and send back it back because it gives you a chance to explain how you have found yourself in this predicament, why you have found yourself in arrears and if you can resolve the situation before repossession commences. You can also state in this form how much you can afford to pay towards the arrears.
To avoid repossession it is best to attend any court hearing that is posted to you. In attendance will be the district judge and the solicitor acting on behalf of your landlord or solicitor. If the judge is lenient he may allow you time to pay or suspend the possession order, this will normally mean paying your mortgage as before with some of the arrears on top. However if you go down this route you have to keep to the payment otherwise an Eviction Warrant for repossession goes ahead with no need for it to go back to the court. Bailiffs will then be called to repossess your property once the date is officially set.
However if the judge feels that realistically you will not be able to meet your further mortgage payments with the added increase of arrears on top then they will simply make a possession order for 28 days time. Once this date is given the bailiffs will then return to the property to make sure that the property has been vacated. If however at any time you feel that you can stop the eviction taking place then it is important to contact the court. Repossession is always the last resort but often lenders feel that it is better to remove families from their homes when the arrears begin to build and repossession looks inevitable, rather than granting them more time to pay and getting further into mortgage debt. Nobody wants to face the possibility of repossession but if the arrears are building on your mortgage account then you seriously need to decide whether it may be worth selling quickly.
Fiona Davies is a director at The Property Fairy.
She has worked in the land and property sector for the last ten years.
All articles on the website are written uniquely by her.
This article is copyright free.