How Long Does it Take to Repossess a Home?
In the UK, repossessing a home is a legal process that requires compliance with certain laws and regulations. This article will examine how long this process takes and what factors might impact the time frame of repossession.
Note: Housing laws differ between Scotland, England and Wales. This article will cover England and Wales for help with repossession in Scotland visit Scotland Shelter.org.
The Process of House Repossession in England and Wales
In order to repossess a home in England and Wales, certain steps must be taken. These include:
- Serving notice of repossession,
- Filing court proceedings if necessary, and;
- Gaining a possession order.
The amount of time it takes to complete each step will depend on the specifics of each individual case.
On top of all of this, repossession will only be legal if certain steps are taken to help you pay your mortgage. To understand the correct steps, or if you are worried about being repossessed contact our team of repossession experts. They can help you stop repossession.
For instance, a notice of repossession from your lender must be served in accordance with English law. This process can take up to six weeks depending on the circumstances and the response from the homeowner. If a court hearing is necessary, this will add more time to the process, as a court date must be set and all parties must attend. Once a possession order has been granted by the court, the lender can take action to repossess the property as quickly as four weeks.
Read more: Can the Bank Repossess My Home?
Factors Impacting the Repossession Time Frame
There are a number of factors that may impact how long it takes to repossess a home. These include:
- The current financial situation of the homeowner,
- The type and amount of mortgage or loan on the property,
- The status of any court proceedings,
- The speed of response from the homeowner, and;
- Whether the lender follows the correct rules and regulations.
We will explain each point in more detail.
Your financial situation
One way to avoid repossession entirely is to be declared bankrupt. This is an extreme option that most homeowners would rather not attempt. But when you file for bankruptcy repossession stops.
It is important to be aware that bankruptcy has long-lasting financial implications, in some cases, more than repossession. However, in certain circumstances, it can help you get out of your home being repossessed or at least slow down the process.
Type and amount of mortgage
The type and amount of your mortgage will help determine whether or not your lender will be willing to negotiate. Negotiation with your lender is the ideal way to delay your repossession, it could even stop your house from being repossessed entirely.
Again, in certain circumstances, a fixed rate, or an interest-free mortgage can work in your favour. It is best to contact an expert in these matters if you are ever unsure of whether your type of mortgage will help your situation.
Learn about the interest rate rises: How Will Rising Interest Rates Affect My Mortgage?
Court proceeding status
Repossession is a legal action, so a court is required to make the decision for your home to be repossessed. As repossession orders were completely stopped during the pandemic there is a large backlog of these court proceedings.
As of 2022, the median average time for repossession orders had decreased to 60.1 weeks (compared to 114.7 in 2021). This backlog will eventually clear, but it does give people under the threat of repossession time to fix their finances and keep their homes.
Speed of response
When you first get a letter from your letter telling you that they may start repossession proceedings you may feel the need to ignore this letter. This is a mistake. As difficult as it can be to face this situation it is important to respond as quickly as possible. Avoiding the issue can lead to you losing your home.
If you are unable to face this situation, then speak to an expert. Repossession Expert has seen every situation imaginable and can help you stop repossession. We can act on your behalf and speak to your lender directly.
Your lender is following the rules
Every lender in the UK has to follow strict guidelines when looking to repossess your house. These may vary for Scotland as they have different housing laws.
If your lender does not follow the rules and regulations as set out by the FCA they will be unable to repossess your home.
Your lender will need to attempt to work with you to find a solution to your financial situation. They must also have records of their conversations with you. Also, before starting any court action they need to provide you with three pieces of information:
- A list of missed payments
- Outstanding mortgage debt
- The total amount of arrears and charges
If they fail to do so your lender will not be able to repossess your home, it will at least make the process longer.
In conclusion, repossessing a property in the UK can take anywhere from six weeks to several months depending on the specific circumstances of each case. Longer time frames are possible if certain steps are taken, however, anyone in danger of repossession should first seek professional advice.
HMS help people stop the repossession of their homes. We have a five-star rating on Google from successful repossession clients who felt they were in impossible situations and only needed some expertise to stop their repossession. If you are in dire need with your home being repossessed and are not sure where to turn then give us a call at 0800 298 0571 and we will do everything we can to help.