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Friday 24th of October 2008
October 22, 2008

New guidance for Judges hearing repossession cases


by Gill Montia
New guidance for Judges hearing repossession cases

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has today told parliament that county court judges will be receiving new guidance regarding actions brought by lenders to repossess homes.

As Britain slips into recession, mortgage providers will have to demonstrate to the courts that repossession is only being sought where all other options have failed.

The new measures will bolster current regulations from the Financial Services Authority and lenders will be expected to explore options such as repayment holidays, changing the type of mortgage and extending the length of the mortgage.

If banks and building societies fail to do this, judges can halt or adjourn court actions.

In addition, lenders will be expected to put effort into resolve problems outside the court system, so that mortgage arrears cases only come before the judiciary as a last resort.

In related news, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has today published new guidance for its members, which provide around 98% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK.

CML director general, Michael Coogan, acknowledges that there is significant public concern about repossession and the guidance intends to ensure that lenders’ arrears management policies are up to scratch.

During the six months to the end of June, 18,900 properties were repossessed by lenders; the figure was at its highest since 1996 and up 48% on the same period of 2007.

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Story link: New guidance for Judges hearing repossession cases


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