What Happens After Your House is Repossessed?

It’s a scary feeling knowing you’re on the cusp of repossession. You’re trying everything you possibly can to get on top of debt/arrears - taking up another job, making cuts in spending - but it doesn’t seem to be scratching the surface. When this leads to the repossession of your house, it’s hard to know what to do next. Fasthomes answer common questions regarding what happens after your house is repossessed.

What happens after your house is repossessed: Outstanding debts

If you are in arrears, if you haven’t settled all you owe within 80-190 days your lender can legally apply for an ‘order for possession’. After your house has been repossessed, your lender will try to sell the house to cover the debt, remaining mortgage and other fees/bills.

How will your house be sold?

Your lender will sell your house via an estate agents or through auction. They are required to sell your house as quickly as possible and for the best possible price they can, and they should keep you in the loop with its status. However if you are suspicious that your lender isn’t doing this, you can take this up with the judge. Alternatively you could ask your lender and/or a judge to be given more time to sell the house yourself if you believe you could get a better price for it.

You’re probably wondering if your house is repossessed do you get any money back? Well, if it is sold for more than/equal to the amount you owe, your debt will be written off and you will be able to keep any surplus money. However, if the sale does not cover what is owed, this is called a ‘shortfall’ and you will have to make up the difference.

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What if the house doesn't sell straight away?

After your house is repossessed, your lender is responsible for the house’s maintenance while they try to sell it. The price for this upkeep, repair, maintenance and more is down to you though. So if it takes a long time to sell, lenders will continue to add on these additional charges. We recommend making sure your house is in a good condition to avoid any unnecessary added expenses.

What happens when your home is repossessed: Finding somewhere to live

If you’ve been evicted, you will officially be declared homeless unless you have other accommodation organised. According to Housing Repossessions there are two main problems faced by people trying to find a new place to live:

  1. It will be hard to get a good from their landlord/lender - a forced repossession is unlikely to result in a good evaluation, plus an individual may want to hide this from a future mortgage lender.
  2. Many homeowners depend on deposits/down payments for the original property to put towards their new place, which won't be easily recoverable in repossession proceedings, if at all.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do here, if you’re scared about what happens once your house is repossessed. You could contact the local authority who are obliged to help you find accommodation, even if only temporary. Not only this but asking social services and various charity and not-for-profit organisations for help could assist you in your dilemma. After all, homelessness is on the rise.

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What can you do after your house has been repossessed?

There are several things you can do after being victim to house repossession:

  • Appeal a judge's ruling - if you: weren't notified correctly of the proceedings against you; and/or have been fraudulently evicted and have evidence to prove it, you can apply for the judge to revisit your case and try to upturn it.
  • Find a solicitor that is experienced in dealing with civil litigation matters to assess your options.
  • Seek financial help to avoid repossession in the future.
  • Contact free advice and charity helplines such as Shelter, Citizens Advice Bureau, National Homelessness Advice Service, or even your local council to ask for help.

If you also require any other advice regarding homelessness, housing and more, take a look at some of our helpful articles!

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