What happens at a court hearing for repossession? Housing Rights Service Northern Ireland


Receiving notice of a court hearing doesn’t mean you will definitely lose your home and attending your hearing will greatly improve the chances of you keeping your home The hearing won’t be overly formal you will be given the opportunity to explain your circumstances and to put your repayment proposals to the court. You will find Belfast High Court on Lower Chichester Street. It’s across the road from the House of Fraser entrance of Victoria Square. It’s the older grey coloured stone building on the right hand side of the pedestrian area. After passing through security, ask court service staff at reception to direct you to the room you need to go to It’s important to bring with you all the letters and other documents relating to your mortgage and the court case. The corridor outside the court room will be busy, but you should try to find the room in which your hearing will take place. Court service staff will be in the corridor to assist you if required. Once found, check the list of hearings on the notice board that will be outside the room. You may also want to try to identify the solicitor acting for your lender to let them know you are there. When you enter the room, it’s likely that the only other people there will be the lender’s solicitor and the Master, or Judge, who will hear the case. You can also bring along a friend or family member for moral support. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to explain the circumstances that led to you falling behind with your mortgage or secured loan. If you haven’t had the opportunity to get independent advice, or you are unclear or uncertain about what you could afford to pay on top of your monthly installment, you have the option of asking the Master to adjourn or postpone the hearing to give you time to seek free, independent advice. If you’ve already had advice and are satisfied and happy that the repayment arrangements are manageable, you can propose this to the Master at the hearing. If the Master is satisfied that the proposal is realistic, he or she will usually make a Court Order that will only come into effect if you stop making the agreed payments. As long as you keep making the payments, you will not lose your home. Remember. Even when a court hearing for repossession is set, all is not lost and you may still be able to keep your home. It’s vital you attend If you can, try to identify the lender’s solicitor. Make sure any repayment proposals you make are realistic and manageable. Don’t be afraid to ask for an adjournment to allow you to take advice, if necessary. Online help is available at www.housingadviceNI.org You can also contact Housing Rights Service or your local independent advice centre for assistance. It is never too late to get help

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