House Repossession: Using the Defence Form

By July 31, 2011House Repossession

In the last post we spoke about the repossession hotspots and the potential for profit presented by repossessed houses for sale. Nonetheless, it would be thoughtless if we didn’t give the other side of the equation – each repossessed home represents a personal tragedy.

If you have received a repossession order your first response will probably be to panic; as difficult as it may seem – don’t, there is still time to act and prevent your home from being repossessed. Even if the repossession proceeding have started there is still quite a bit of time before the order has to be enforced – and it may also be adjourned to give you time to pay off the arrears.

Do not pay for advice, there is plenty of free advice around to help you deal with this situation and one of the best places you can go is the good old CAB

House Repossession and the Defence Form

You will receive a package of paperwork from the court, which will include:

  • Copies of the claim for possession forms, completed by your lender
  • A court hearing date
  • A blank defence form and guidance on how to fill it out
  • The court’s contact details
  • Information about organisations offering free advice on repossessions

The Defence Form is expressly so you can tell the court about your circumstances and how they led to your current situation; you will also be given the opportunity to detail what attempts you’ve made to sort things out.

If the mortgage lender has said things that you don’t believe are true, the Defence Form is the place to argue your case. The information you give will help the judge to decide whether or not the mortgage lender needs to provide more information to prove their case. So you can see, it is important not to ignore this form but to use it to your best advantage.

In Questions 5 and 6 of the Defence Form you are given the opportunity to ask the court to scrutinize the fairness of your original mortgage agreement. If it is thought that the agreement was unfair to start off with there are number of actions open to the judge, for instance, he could make an order to extend the terms of the mortgage.

In Questions 7 to 10 of the Defence Form you can agree or disagree with the arrears figure the mortgage lender has given. This is also the place where you can propose a repayment plan, say, paying a regular amount off the arrears on a monthly basis.

Questions 11 to 25 are where you provide details of both your personal and financial circumstances. There’s a place where you list all incomings and outgoings and this will help the judge to decide whether or not to suspend the possession order. When this happens, the order is passed but you have a certain amount of time to pay off the arrears before it is actioned. Also in this section you will be able to give details of additional income – state benefits, say, or your partner’s salary – which may change the financial picture as far as the judge is concerned.

In the final section of the form you are able to explain:

  • if you got into difficulties with the mortgage through no fault of your own
  • what steps you have taken to clears the arrears
  • any change of circumstances since the arrears built up, which mean you are in a better position to clear or reduce the arrears
  • if you are selling or re-mortgaging the property and need more time to complete
  • if your personal circumstances are such – for example due to ill health or disability – that a possession order would cause you particular hardship

It is no defence just to say you can’t pay the mortgage however!

If at all possible, you should send the defence form back to the court before the hearing – it should be returned within fourteen days at any rate. However, if time is short, just take the form to court on the day of the hearing.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Gordon says:

    We were never sent or received a repossession defence form from the court nor from the lenders when we order to attend court in our repossession claim initiated by our subprime lender in July 2009. Here is our story:

    This information may be confronting to people in difficulty, has the government knowns that subprime lenders who lend money irresponsibly to people under the economic boom are being easily granted possessions by county court judges to take people property irrespective of how the money was lent, and the county court judges knowing well that the pre-action protocols have not been followed yet, dismissed the defendant(borrower) case (application), on the ground that the £3500 monthly payment possession order he made has not being maintained.

    The lender representative did not have any pre-hearing with this old man, The old man was being allowed to pay £100 a week when the lender initiated the possession order, he was just taken in front of the judge who granted the possession to the lender and order the old man to pay £3500 a month. 2 years I can still the sarcastic smile of the lender representative.

    The property is not in a negative equity and has £75000 to £80000 equity in it, yet the judge refusing to allow a sale by the borrower and order 3 times the eviction to go ahead. The borrower was given the loan by the subprime lender having all the facts that the borrower was 71 years old and now is 74 years old on a pension, yet the judge refused to accept an application for clemency on the promised of a lesser monthly repayment of £1600 until the property is sold by the 74 years old himself, this old pensioner is now going to be in the street in 2days, both his local council refused his application for Homeowners mortgage rescue plan sighting that, they are not accepting anymore application, Shelter has not been of help either.

    The old man 74 years old approach 2 local MP who also refused to help or intervened. Where is the fairness here?

    The Old Man 74 years old was given this loan directly by the subprime secured loan company, themselves without any legal advice whatsoever, and promised to give him a remortgage in 1 year after taking the loan, but when the subprime was approach for that remortgage they stated that they will not give him the remortgage because of the credit crunch.

    Even the 1st mortgage company has given the old man an extension on his orginal 1st mortgage which has expired recently, instead of old man being asked for the £40000, he has been given a 10 years extension. But this subprime lender is now asking for a monthly payment of £7000 to bring both the balance and the arrears up to date, so when he failed to maintained that in July and August 2011 he is now being evicted, the subprime is giving him an altimatum Pay the whole arrears or you will be in the street in 2 days time. This was the subprime lender language (answer) to this 74 years old man.

    The subprime lender has changed their solicitors recently after the 6 of April 2011 Pre-action protocol of ordered by the government. (This is what opened our mind to start finding information about this loan that I was given to this 74 years old).

    I hope this comment will be published so people will know what is going and giving investor more powers to capitalise on homeowners demise, and subprime lenders that are being granted easily possession orders by judges who ignores whether or not the these subprime lenders have followed or abide by the pre-action protocol.

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