When you are facing repossession of the property you are living in, it is crucial that you are aware of your rights. The mortgage lender cannot take action without you being informed – and you are also given the opportunity to respond to their concerns, and defend yourself in a court of law, if you choose.
If you are living in Scotland and researching your rights in these circumstances, make sure you look at the laws in Scotland thoroughly regarding house repossession, as these can vary on certain points from the rest of the UK.
Keep reading for a summary of your rights when facing repossession.
Do I have a right to appeal against repossession?
Yes, you have a right to appeal against the repossession of your property. You can do this by completing an N244 form.
Your mortgage lender will not apply to repossess your property without giving you fair warning. They will typically send you one or two notices that you have mortgage arrears. You should then respond to these letters as appropriate to begin a conversation with the lender about how these will be paid off. If you ignore their letters, you will likely be taken to court.
Your lender has to give you at least 2 weeks’ notice in writing before they apply to the court for a repossession. You can complete an N244 form to appeal against repossession.
What should I receive from the court when my lender applies for repossession?
Once your mortgage lender has applied to the court to repossess your house, the court will contact you with details about the lender’s claim, and a date when the case will be heard.
If you are currently trying to sell your property so you can repay your mortgage, it is important that you advise the courts of this, as they may be able to delay the court hearing.
When the repossession hearing date gets nearer, you should receive a sworn statement (affidavit) from the court which outlines details of the claim, the outstanding balance, payment details, interest rates and any other terms and conditions.
How quickly do I need to move out of my house?
If the court rules in favour of the lender, and decides that your house should be repossessed, then they will write to you with a date by which you need to move out of your property. You must be out of the house by this date, or someone will come round to forcibly evict you.
What are my options when I am behind on my mortgage payments?
Please note that We Buy Any Home is not a financial adviser and you should seek independent specialist advice, outlining all the options of your specific situation, before making a judgement on this matter.
In ‘typical’ instances when a homeowner is behind on their mortgage payments, there are a few main options available.
Firstly, you may consider selling your property to a cash house buyer like We Buy Any Home. This option can give you up-front cash within 7 days, if you select a reliable and efficient company like us. You can then use this money to pay off your mortgage without going through the repossession process.
Alternatively, you could ask to reduce your monthly payments. This might include paying back the debt over a longer period or switching to interest-only payments. Your lender will be able to advise on whether this is a viable option, and what the conditions might be.
You could consider finding a way to reduce your monthly living costs, such as changing your lifestyle so less money is spent on recreational activities. Depending on how much money you spend on ‘un-essential’ things like this, it could free up a reasonable amount of cash. You could then agree with your mortgage lender that you make up for the missed payments over the forthcoming months, by paying extra until it is paid off.
There may be other options available, besides the ones listed above. You should discuss this with your lender and financial advisor.
What happens if my landlord faces eviction while I am renting a house?
When your landlord fails to make their mortgage payments, and their lender decides to evict them, you may still have certain rights as a tenant. These depend on the details of your landlord’s mortgage with the lender.
For example, according to Citizens Advice, your tenancy could be binding if any of these things apply to you:
- the landlord’s lender agreed to the tenancy
- you were living in the property when your landlord’s mortgage was granted
- the landlord’s lender has recognised your tenancy in some way, for example, by asking you to pay them rent
If your tenancy is not binding, you may still be able to delay possession of your home by up to two months. This can be done by applying to the court so you can attend the hearing and make your case; or alternatively, if the court rules that the house should be repossessed and a notice of execution is sent to you, you can contact the lender directly asking them to delay your repossession.
Ideally, you should contact independent advisory organisations or professionals who can explain your rights as a tenant, and provide guidance on the best steps to avoid losing your home.
If you own a property in the UK and want to sell your house fast then contact We Buy Any Home today.