Stage 3: Proceedings Begin

Bank/Lender Repossession Proceedings

If after 4-6 months a borrower is still in arrears, the lenders’ solicitors will begin proceedings for repossession by seeking a possession hearing at the County Court local to the borrower.

On filing a request for issue, the matter will ordinarily be listed for a hearing date 4-6 weeks from that point, although it usually depends on how busy the court's hearings schedule is.

What can be done?

Complete, make a copy and return the Court summons

Borrowers must complete and promptly return the reply form received from the Court, stating their intentions and including as much detail as possible about their income and expenditure so that the court can determine whether they can meet the current monthly instalment and pay an amount towards the arrears. A letter and a copy of any supporting information that they may feel is relevant, such as attempted negotiations to reach an agreement with their lender, should also be attached. Borrowers should also make a copy of the Court summons for their records.

Offer to make a contribution (if possible)

If a borrower can afford to pay the current monthly instalment together with a contribution towards the arrears before the hearing date, then the lender may be willing to suspend proceedings.

Although some lenders will inform their customers that there is no chance of this happening, the final decision rests with the District Judge. The judge will give the borrower an opportunity to make an offer to pay the full monthly amount, along with an additional monthly amount to clear the arrears. If the court is satisfied that payment can be maintained, the judge will grant a Suspended Possession Order, allowing the borrower to remain in their home.