Can the Bank Repossess My House?
When you miss mortgage payments or fall into mortgage arrears, you may be worried about whether your lender can repossess your home. Although mortgage debt can result in repossession, there are many steps to go through before repossession is permitted.
I’m Behind on Mortgage Payments, Can the Bank Repossess My Home?
If you’re struggling to make mortgage repayments, it’s advisable to talk to your lender as soon as possible. This can enable you to come to a suitable agreement with your lender, such as a repayment plan, and may prevent them from starting court action and seeking repossession of the property.
Although a mortgage lender can apply for a repossession order, there are many steps they have to go through before they can initiate repossession action, such as:
- Clarifying how much you owe
- Considering repayment plan requests
- Responding to payment offers (within 10 days)
- Giving you 15 days’ notice of intended court action
- Inform your local council (in case you need housing support)
What Happens If a Repossession Hearing Is Scheduled?
If a repossession hearing is scheduled, your lender will ask the court to issue a possession order so that they can take ownership of your property. However, you will have the opportunity to defend your position and explain to the court why a possession order shouldn’t be granted.
If your lender has failed to meet their statutory obligations or you have a workable plan to get out of mortgage debt, the court may agree to delay the hearing or set aside the case (with no order being made).
Can the Bank Repossess My Home Without Notice If a Possession Order is Granted?
There are two main types of possession orders that a court can grant:
- Outright possession order
- Suspended possession order
Outright Possession Order
An outright possession order means the mortgage lender technically takes possession of the property but, in reality, you will usually be given 28 days before you are required to leave your home. In some cases, the court may agree to extend this to 56 days. Following this, the lender could instruct bailiffs to evict you if you refuse to leave.
Suspended Possession Order
A suspended possession order ensures you can remain in your home, providing you adhere to the court’s instructions. This may mean sticking to a repayment plan, paying off your mortgage arrears, and avoiding further mortgage debt, for example.
If a suspended possession order is issued and you fail to meet the terms set out by the court, the lender can apply to have you evicted from the property with as little as two weeks’ notice.
Read more: Can the Council Repossess My Home?
How Can I Stop My Home Being Repossessed?
There are many ways to prevent your home from being repossessed, no matter how far along the process is. Even if a possession order or eviction order has been issued, there is still action you can take to keep your property. If you want to stay in your home and not sell it, negotiating with your mortgage lenders can be the most effective way to resolve the situation.
Many people assume it’s time to sell when they face threats of repossession, but this isn’t always the right course of action. While you might choose to sell your house if you want to move and free yourself from debt, there are other options to consider.
With advice from charities, such as Shelter England, and independent experts, you can determine what your rights are and what’s the best way to avoid house repossession and retain ownership of your home.
Homeowner Management Services has been protecting people from repossession for years. We are the Repossession Expert and can help you keep your home and stop repossession. If you are under threat of repossession then call our team on 0800 298 0571 immediately and we will work with you to keep your home.