Summary: This article explains the difference between a Possession Order and a Suspended possession order.
When an individual falls into arrears with their mortgage repayments, it is possible that their mortgage lender will attempt to take court action (assuming no other agreements have been reached). Provided there are no ongoing negotiations or the individual has applied for or is waiting for help from the government (for example, the mortgage rescue scheme) or mortgage insurance payouts, then the lender can submit a claim for possession of property.
What is a claim for possession of property?
This is the initial summons received to advise the Mortgage lender is taking action. It will contain details of the reason for the court action, and the date, time and location of where the individual needs to go. At this stage, an arrangement could still be reached to prevent court action.
What is a Possession Order?
If the judge in court finds in favour of the mortgage lender, then they will issue a Possession Order. This means the mortgage lender can reclaim the property and the occupant will be evicted. They are normally given 28 days to find alternative arrangements, if they have not moved by this date, then the mortgage lender can apply for eviction through the court.
What is a Suspended Possession Order?
In some instances, the judge may grant a suspended possession Order. This means that the individual can remain in their home provided they repay any arrears in instalments as laid out in the order. Provided they are maintained, the mortgage lender cannot repossess the property, but failure to keep to the agreement could result in eviction.
When might a suspended possession order be given?
They will be given where the judge wants to give the property owner a chance to rectify their situation. Individuals who have shown willing by making at least some monthly repayments, or those that can demonstrate a reasonable budget plan to repay, may be considered for the suspended possession order. Furthermore, if for any reason the mortgage lender has not followed the correct process (e.g. not allowed treated the individual fairly) then it could be argued in court that a suspended possession order would be more appropriate.