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Preventing court action

If you are in arrears with your mortgage, your lender can take action in the county court to evict you from your property. But, if you act quickly, it may be possible to avoid going to court.

If you are threatened with eviction, get advice as soon as you can. You might be able to get some breathing space to help you sort out your money problems with an adviser whilst court action is put on hold.

I have missed a mortgage payment – what can I do?

Most lenders will only repossess your home as a last resort. They usually prefer to sort out your payment problems in other ways. The sooner you contact your lender about any problems the better your chances of keeping your home.

If you have missed a payment on your mortgage try and write a letter or send an email to your lender as soon as possible.

Your letter or email should:

  • explain why you’re in arrears
  • say that you’re making every effort to clear the arrears
  • say that you’ll write to them again soon with a proposal for dealing with the arrears.

This will give you time to speak to an adviser and get help.

Breathing Space scheme
If you are in mortgage arrears you may eligible for the Breathing Space scheme. This gives you time to get some specialist debt advice without the pressure of formal action being taken against you.

To find out more about the scheme and how to apply, click here.

A specialist debt adviser may be able to help you consider your options and come up with a proposal to give to your lender.

Try to make payments towards your mortgage in the meantime. It’s better to pay something rather than nothing, even if you can’t pay the full instalment.

For lots more information, see our page on how to deal with mortgage arrears.

I’ve received a letter from my lender

If your lender or it’s solicitor contacts you about your arrears, don’t ignore their letters or phone calls. If you don’t respond, your lender is much more likely to take you to court.

Your lender will normally ask you to:

  • confirm how you intend to catch up on the missed payments, or
  • contact them to discuss your financial situation.

If your lender isn’t satisfied with your proposals, or your arrears increase, they will probably write to you again. The second letter will usually tell you that solicitors will get involved unless you can clear your arrears or contact your lender to discuss your situation within seven days.

Breathing Space scheme
Even if you have received a letter from your lender or their solicitor you may still be eligible for the Breathing Space scheme. This gives you time to get some specialist debt advice without the pressure of formal action being taken against you.

To find out more about the scheme and how to apply, click here.

What if the case goes to court?

If you have not been able to stop your lender from starting court action, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose your home. It’s always worth trying to negotiate or reach a solution before the hearing. If this isn’t possible, it’s important you go to the court hearing so that you can explain your situation to the court.  At the hearing, the court will listen to both sides and decide what should happen to your home.

Always try to get advice as early as you can. Take a look at our pages on Going to court for lots more advice about what to expect at court and what you can do to avoid losing your home.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: June 16, 2021

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

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