Court Case on 04/06/04

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I am in the county court on friday due to the arrears on the mortgage account, i phoned the solicitors this morning to see if they could change the date, they said no, i then asked them if they were going for a suspended repossesion and they said no, they are going for an outright possesion order, i explained that the last person i spoke to in march about this, they said it was a suspended order they were going for, and the bloke i spoke to today, said it was because they haven't got the "I & E" form, i told this bloke that i have a letter in my possesion regarding a compensation claim which is still going through for about 2,500 and once i get that payment, it will go straight into the mortgage account, so he's told me to bring the letter with me on friday, as this will clear most of the arrears and proberbly leave us with about 500 arrears. My husband should know tomorrow whether he starts a new job on monday of next week, which will also help us out with the payments. What i am wondering is, can the judge give a possesion order there and then, or do they have to give you time to make payments? once this compensation has come through i know things will be straight, but we may not get it until july/august, i thought the courts would give time to make payments under the norgan rules, could i excersise that right? ie; aske the judge about it? Also, is it a legal obligation for me to fill in an "I & E" form? sorry this is long winded, but i want to know where i stand etc. Many thanks, JANE.

-- jane (janey1@emailaccount.com), June 02, 2004

Answers

Stop worrying. You will get a suspended possession order if you can show that you can meet the ongoing monthly payment plus a sum off the arrears each month on top. This is under the commonly known Norgan Rules - the judge has to allow you the rest of the mortgage term if necessary to clear any arrears off.

Go to the court. Make sure you go to the court - this is a priority. If you don't go, the judge will simply make a 28 day possession order which WILL NOT be suspended.

Take with you a spreadsheet showing your income and outgoings - and yes, tell the court about the compo claim and the new job. You should have filled in the reply for to the court which asks for your income and expenses but don;t worry if you have not returned this.

The hearing is in a room with the judge, you and a rep from the BS - it's all informal as courts go. Note that as well as a suspended possession order, the judge will give a suspended judgment for the whole of the mortgage outstanding. Neither appears on your credit records or on the BS repossessions register UNLESS you default and the order becomes "un-suspended".

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), June 02, 2004.


Thanks for your reply, I went today and the solicitor acting for the halifax rejected my offer of the normal monthly payment of 378-00 plus 30-00 off the arrears, so i showed her the letter from the compensation place, she took a copy of it with my agreement, and then phoned the head office to let them know i had shown her the letter etc and they told her to still refuse any offer!! I reminded her that in a court of law, they cannot really refuse any reasonable offer, she then said it was up to the judge, anyway, to cut a long story short, the judge has told me to get confirmation of the amount we are going to get, and when we will get it, and hubby has to prove that he is in work, ( the agency did not contact him regarding the interview today, so hubby thinks he hasn't got very far!) and we still have to pay the mortgage for this month, then in 4 weeks time, the judge will review it. So basically, we have to pay the mortgage for this month, and prove hubby has found work, plus i need a letter from the comp place outlining how much, and when we will get this money, so hopefully, fingers crossed, if we make this month's payment, and hubby's found work, then we will not have to pay as much on the arrears, as the figure from what i have been told will be 2,500 that will leave us with about 600 arrears, let's hope things work out right,. Thanks for your advice, take care, jane.

-- jane (janey1@emailaccount.com), June 04, 2004.

PS; The solicitor acting for halifax said that after she had worked out how long it will take us to pay the arrears off at 30-00 per month the figure came to 4 years, which she said was too long, can they refuse to accept how many years it will take, i remember about 9 yrs ago we got into arrears the judge ordered that we pay the arrears within 5 yrs!! which thankfully, we got straight within 12 months anyway!

-- jane (janey1@emailaccount.com), June 04, 2004.

Sounds like you had a reasonable judge - he is clearly making sure that you are not either telling porkies or over-committing yourself.

As to time to pay - the Norgan case set a precedent to which all judges in repo cases must adhere in that the borrower must, if need be, be given the rest of the mortgage term to pay any arrears. Halifax and any other mortgage lender can stanp their feet and shout as much as they like but if the rest of the mortgage term was 20 years and the borrower could not clear the arrears any quicker, then 20 years they must be given.

One other little thing you have not thought about - costs. You will have to pay the costs of the possession proceedings - this will be about 500 or so and the usual way for these to be dealt with is incorporated within the mortgage deed - they are added to the balance of the mortgage - however, Halifax may demand these costs from you as part of the arrears (in other words, they will be added to the arrears) You need to ask Halifax what the costs are and write them into your payment plans.

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), June 04, 2004.


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