Mortgage possession process

Before a property gets taken into possession by a lender the litigation process must go through a number of well-defined stages. Although the legal process may have started your lender regards the repossession and sale of your property as a last resort.

The flowchart below sets these out and identifies the things that we will do on behalf of the lender, as well as the things you could consider doing which may help avoid having your house repossessed.

Next steps - the possession process

Although the process has started it is still not too late to act. Please contact your lender.

Letter before action/
solicitor's letter
We will
  • write to you to advise you that your lender has instructed us to help recover the arrears on your mortgage
You could
  • contact either Eversheds Sutherland or your lender to discuss ways to clear your mortgage arrears. This can be done
    at any stage of the process (the earlier, the better).
  • consider the proposals you can make to clear the arrears in full straightaway, or over a reasonable
    period of time
  • consider seeking independent legal (and/or financial) advice
Claim for possession We will
  • issue a 'Claim for Possession'
  • request a hearing in front of a District Judge at your local County Court
  • advise you of the time and date of the hearing
Witness Statement We will
  • prepare and serve a 'Witness Statement' setting out the details of your lender's claim
  • send you a copy of the Witness Statement
  • prepare for the hearing
Possession hearing We will
  • arrange for someone to attend the hearing to represent the lender's position
  • attempt to secure a possession order on behalf of the lender
  • inform you of the hearing result
You could
  • consider attending the hearing to represent your position (and possibly agree a payment arrangement with our representative)
Warrant of Possession We will
  • request the issue of a 'Warrant of Possession' (this may be up to 28, 42, 56 days after the hearing)
  • receive details of the eviction appointment from the bailiff
  • inform you of the time and date
You could
  • investigate ways of clearing the arrears on the mortgage account before the eviction appointment
  • investigate alternative housing options if it is unlikely that the eviction can be avoided
Bailiff appointment/eviction We will
  • coordinate the attendance of the Court Bailiff and our client's contractors, who will carry out the eviction, securing the property for the lender
You should
  • leave the property and make arrangements for the removal of your possessions
Possession The lender now has possession of your property
Property marketed/sold The lender will now place the property on the market and seek to sell it for the best possible price.
Proceeds distributed shortfall recovered The lender will use the proceeds of the sale to redeem the balance outstanding on your mortgage. Any remaining proceeds will be sent to you. If there are not sufficient funds to repay the lender, they may take further Court action to recover this shortfall

To download the possession process flowchart please click here