Lawyers should wise up to repossession regulations

| February 20, 2008 | 0 Comments

The Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) Consumer Panel is warning that solicitors who are not fully aware of the regulation that govern property repossessions can hamper homeowners’ attempts to avoid eviction.

The FSA’s recently published Financial Risk Outlook for 2008 predicts that 1.4 million homeowners could face problems meeting their mortgage repayments this year and the panel is drawing attention to FSA regulations that stipulate that lenders must make reasonable efforts to reach an agreement over repaying arrears.

Under the regulations mortgage companies are also barred from putting excessive pressure on their borrowers.

Additionally, repossession can only occur “when all other attempts to resolve the position have failed”, and a stay in proceedings can be ordered in circumstance where a mortgage is deemed to have been mis-sold.

John Howard, chairman of the Consumer Panel said: “We have heard that some less scrupulous lenders are rushing to repossess properties without the courts considering the FSA rules on repossessions.”

Adding: “Clearly if a lender or mortgage broker has acted irresponsibly by persuading someone to take out a mortgage they cannot afford, a much more lenient view ought to be taken of the householder’s case.”

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