Govan Law Centre recently appealed a decision in the case of Santander v C, emphasising how important it is that homeowners seek legal advice if their mortgage lender raises a court action for repossession.
Mr C suffered from poor health and was unable to work and therefore could not pay his mortgage. He was seeking an additional six months in his property so he could do it up and make certain improvements so that it could be marketed properly and achieve the best sale price possible. This was not accepted by the lender who raised repossession proceedings. Decree was granted against Mr C when his case first called.
This decision was appealed by Govan Law Centre on the grounds of reasonableness. The Law Centre believed that the Sheriff had not taken into consideration Mr C’s poor health or the impact on his daughter who attended a local school. Mr C also thought that he had not had a fair hearing in accordance with his human rights.
After the appeal was raised, but before a decision was made, it was conceded in a settlement agreement that Mr C be permitted 4 months in the property, in order for it to be sold. This allowed Mr C to sell the property at a price that enabled him to discharge the security in full and be left with a cash surplus after the sale.
Many homeowners, who find themselves in a similar position to Mr C, do not take legal advice and may not have such a satisfactory outcome. They may be vulnerable to private individuals or companies seeking to buy properties for below the market value. A quick cash sale to avoid repossession action is often not a good idea as quick cash home buy companies operate in an unregulated market in the UK and there is little consumer protection offered in practice.
I cannot impress upon Scottish homeowners enough the need to seek legal advice if faced with the possibility of repossession. If I can help please contact Alison Gourley and I will do my best to assist. You can phone me on 0141 552 3422 or contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org