New legislation in place since August 1st, 2019 reinforces the special status of a person’s principal private residence in mortgage arrears proceedings. Repossession of a principal private residence should remain an action of last resort.
Courts must take into account certain matters when deciding whether to grant a possession order to a lender in such cases.
The matters which a court must consider when deciding whether to make or refuse a possession order in such cases are:
- Whether the making of the order would be proportionate in all the circumstances, including:
- the total amount of debt outstanding on the mortgage or associated loan agreement
- the amount of arrears payments due
- the advised market value of the principal private residence at the date on which proceedings commenced
- The circumstances of the borrower and his or her dependants for whom the property is their principal private residence
- Whether the lender has made a statement to the borrower of the terms on which it would be prepared to settle the matter in such a way that the borrower and his or her dependants could remain in their home
- Details of any proposal put forward by or on behalf of the borrower either:
- to enable him or her, or any dependants, to remain in the principal private residence; or
- to secure alternative accommodation;
- Any response of the lender to the borrower’s proposal to remain in the principal private residence
- The conduct of the parties in any attempt to find a resolution to the borrower’s mortgage arrears
We welcome this new legislation and the special status of a principal private residence. Keeping people in their homes should be a priority and it is a positive move to ensure that the enforcement practices of lenders will take account of that. For further advice, contact us today.