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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Going to court for mortgage arrears

You can be asked to go to court if you miss payments on your mortgage. Getting a court summons doesn't mean that you'll lose your home. There are a number of decisions that the judge at court can make. Our advisers at Housing Rights may be able to represent you at your court hearing.

There are many stages your lender must go through before you have to leave your home. The legal process can take a long time. Get advice as soon as possible and keep talking to your lender. It is still possible to save your home.

If you are a homeowner, you can only be evicted if the court makes an order telling you to leave. This section explains what happens once your lender has applied to the court to evict you.

Your best shot at saving your home is to get advice and go to your hearing. There will often be a solicitor from Housing Rights at court on the day of your hearing who can represent you in front of the Master.

You will normally only be able to stop the repossession if you can pay the arrears off in a lump sum or in acceptable instalments. However, there are a few legal defences that could help your case.

Different things can happen if you have to go to court for a possession hearing. The judge can make an order, schedule another hearing, or dismiss the case.

You can be allowed to stay in your home after a repossession hearing. This may be because there wasn't a good enough reason to repossess the home or because the Master believed you should be allowed to stay to give you time to put the situation right.

If the Chancery Master grants your lender possession, the lender has to apply to the Enforcement of Judgments Office to enforce the court's decision. Even at this late stage, you may be able to avoid having to leave your home if you can come up with a realistic proposal of repaying the money owed.