Possession Order

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We have received a court repossession order from First National Bank, court hearing on 27 August. This is a second mortgage of 25,000, our home is worth about 170,000 our principal mortgage is for 72,00 with the Halifax. The possesion order makes no mention of the Halifax is this normal. My seoncd question is that we are now in a position,only recently, after I was made redunsnadt while pregnant to pay the full monthly plus some extra to pay off the arrears.We ahve been making token payments of 100(full payment 268) there is also noentions of this in the court papers, will this prevent the court from going ahead with repossession? What advice can you give?

-- Edda Ivan-Smith (Eddaivansmith@aol.com), June 26, 2001


You say that you were made redundant whilst pregnant - I was under the impression (although I may be wrong) that an employer couldn't do this. You may benefit from seeing a solicitor who specialises in employment cases to see what your rights are.

In any event, you should submit a defence to the posession summons.

In your defence you can say that for whatever reason you couldn't meet your repayments and were paying 100 per month as a token payment until you got on your feet. Get copies of bank statements or other proofs that these payments were made.

You can also say that you're now able to meet the monthly payments plus extra off the arrears.

Usually, if the judge thinks that you'll be able to pay off the arrears, they won't make a possession order.

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), June 27, 2001.

I could also be wrong, but I would guess it's not quite as simple as it seems. You cannot be made redundant whilst pregnant unless you took a lump sum from your employer and waived your rights (which is nigh on impossible to do these days)..in which case they will want to know why you didn't pay the mortgage with the money you got. In any event, if you did not qualify for any redundancy money, there would have been weekly MSP straight after the DSS assistance to help you out there, which would more than cover your small payment. Also, the second mortgage is just that - second to the principle mortgage and I understood that a repossession order cannot be granted over and above the principle mortgage without the Halifax knowing about it and being party to the proceedings. My understanding is that the best they can get is a lien against the property, which the Halifax will also know about. I would do as Pendle says and seek legal advice.

-- Too scared to say (iwasduped@yahoo.com), June 27, 2001.

Dear edda First thing that you should look at is the FNB offer letter they will normally add in a payment protection policy to it,this will be clearly shown.A second charge is a legal mortgage and techniclly the lender may ask for posession,in effect the court will make a suspended order on the assumption that you will continue to make specified agreed payments.If this is an oldish FNB loan it may be on an horrendous interest rate.A distric judge does have the authority to reduce the interest under 'unfair credit bargain ' rules. Best to remortgage immediatly.You must attend court!

-- roger watts (rwatts.homeloans@virgin.net), June 29, 2001.

Thanks for all your advice. We went to court on September 10th, the original date of Aug 27 was a bank holiday! The judge was not impressed by First National's solictor who was an agent. She said that she could not possibly order an posession as First National had not provided a propoer schedule and therefore had not complied with the rules.This was raised as we pointed out there was an umployrent premium of some 3000 that we anted to canel, as when I rtreid to use I was told by FB I was not elegible as I had been self-employed. FB's solictor did not know if this premium was part of the arrears. To cut a long story short, teh judge adjourned the case to be repoened at the first open date after 6 weeks. The Friday before the court case my husband spoke to FB on the phone and came to an arrangement to pay 368 per month, this is 100 over the orginal payment. they then showed up incourt saying the wnated to repossess. What shoudl we do now. FB obviously are not messing. they also do not seem to have eny pof the correspndence that we snet to FB over the months teling them of my unemployment. Does anyone else have any experience of FB? Would love to remortgage with someonelse but who would have us?

-- Edda Ivan-Smith (Eddaivansmith@aol.com), September 14, 2001.

Do you have the details of the arrangement in writing or if not do you have the name and details of the telephone call.

If it is in writing then I cannot see any judge giving them possession. You have after all negotiated an agreement which is what it is all about. If it is not in writing firstly write a letter to the person who agreed it putting it all in writing and get them to confirm - send it recorded at least. If it goes to court and there is nothing in writing I beleive, please all correct me if I am wrong, that an agreement over the phone is today considered to be as binding as a written contract so again I cannot see a judge giving them possession.

On remortgaging, there are many out there who may lend the money but be prepared for a higher rate of interest (I know its silly the worse off you are the more you have to pay). Find a totally independant financial advisor they will be in the yelllow pages and tell them the full storey. Mine is excellent - I don't supposeyou live anywhere around COlchester as that is where he is.

All the best

-- Matt (mattyc@ntlworld.com), September 14, 2001.

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