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Understanding Repossession

The reasons why Repossessions happen and understanding the process

A confusing and emotional time for anyone, experiencing repossession can be too overwhelming and so here at Your Property 4 Cash, we attempt to educate you on the process of repossession and allow you understand why this process takes place. As a respected and professional stop repossession expert, Your Property 4 Cash openly share helpful information that can offer a greater insight into repossession, why it happens and details of the steps in which a repossession takes place.

What is the reason why lenders begin repossession proceedings?

Quite simply under the terms and conditions of a variety of agreements and contracts, from car finance agreements to mortgage agreements, if stipulated, lenders are given the right to put forward or begin repossession orders if payments are not kept up or missed. In most cases it can take only two or three month’s non payment of a particular agreement for lenders to serve a notice of repossession if the situation is not resolved.

In any case, if a particular lender has their doubts about your intensions to make up your missed payments or makes a calculated decision about your ability to pay further instalments, they will take what is known as ‘possession action’ which is usually done through your County Court. The reason is so that they can legally retrieve your property or items, to sell and recover their debt.

Explaining the repossession steps and the preventative measures there to take

There are usually 5 steps taken as part of repossession proceedings, although it often seems although repossessions come out the blue, there is usually plenty of opportunities given by lenders for you to either reach a settlement on the ruling or make alternative arrangements should it get to a critical stage. After all lenders do not wish to go to the lengths they have to when placing repossession orders, preferring for you to have been able to continue making regular payments - a much more beneficial proposition for them.

The first thing you will experience will be payment reminders. These are issued by a particular lender’s ‘Arrears Collection Dept’ or a representative of theirs. You will have either letters or in some cases, phone calls chasing for those payments you are behind on. To avoid the initial stages of a possible repossession, our advice is to liaise with your lender or think of a quick house sale to settle your debts, informing them on your situation regularly. If you make a concerted effort to come to an arrangement, no further action is taken in many circumstances.

The next stage if left unchanged will be solicitor’s letters. These letters are usually enough for the individual to get their act together and contact the lender. If arrears are left unpaid for anywhere between four and six months, solicitors letters officially inform you to pay the full outstanding balance of the payments missed and issue the relevant warnings that items such as your car or home( whichever the arrears are for) can be repossessed unless you act immediately to resolve your debt. Although many believe that things have gone too far at this point, it is always good practice to contact the solicitors to see if you cannot make an arrangement to clear your missed payments over a set time scale.

If the last two steps have been ignored, then grounds are made to begin repossession proceedings. Few individuals should ever get to this level if they make the conscious efforts outlined above. The lenders legal representatives will issue you with what is known as ‘County Court Repossession Proceedings’. You will receive notification of a court hearing when the courts issue you with a hearing date which requires that you do attend. There are different outcomes depending on your circumstances and what you have done to fix the issue. These are:

Adjournment – this is where your case needs further details or you cannot attend your hearing due to one of a host of reasons.
Order for Possession – the decision is given that rules the lender full access to legally take back or repossess an item or your property after a fixed time frame, usually of 28 days.
Case Dismissed or Adjourned Indefinitely – often only after you have paid all the pending arrears, preferably before the court hearing.
Suspended Order for Possession – if you can pay the current months payment and agree to pay a set amount towards the arrears, this order can allow you to agree on a amount to pay your lender until the arrears are paid off. Although this type of settlement may work for you and is often issued by courts, failure to meet a payment would mean an immediate deferral and cause your lender to take back their debt via a ‘Possession Warrant’.

If you defer from a single payment after your case has gone to court, a ‘Possession Warrant’ or ‘Notice of Eviction’ can be immediately issued leaving you with little else but to relinquish your home or said possessions to the lender so that they can recoup their debt. In the case of home repossession proceedings, if you do not leave the premises once the Order for Possession notice has expired then an application for a formal eviction will be applied for and served. You are given a further date and time when you must vacate the property and a bailiff of the court, a representative of your lender and a locksmith will arrive to take back the property ownership, even if you still have possessions inside the property.