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If you're facing eviction because your home has been repossessed

This advice applies to Scotland

If your mortgage lender has a court order to repossess your home, you can still try to negotiate. The lender might be prepared to give you more time as they already have the backing of the court.

You’ll probably have to make a new payment offer for your arrears and a plan to keep paying the mortgage to avoid being evicted. If you need help to do this, you can get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau.

When do you have to leave

Once your lender has the court order, they could ask you to leave the property quite quickly. You’ll usually be given about 2 weeks from the date of the court order.

Your lender can’t sell the property with you in it, so they might ask the court for a warrant to make sure you leave. This is called a warrant for ejection.

What happens on the eviction date

On the eviction date, a representative of the lender might come to repossess the property. The representatives are called sheriff officers.

It’s normal for the locks on the property to be changed to stop you getting back in. If the sheriff officers arrive when you’re not at home and change the locks with your possessions still in the property, you’ll need to contact your lender. Your lender should then arrange to let you in to collect your possessions.

Find out more about eviction on the Shelter Scotland website.

How to prepare for eviction

You might only have a couple of weeks before you have to leave the property. You should get advice from an adviser to help you:

  • work out where you’re going to live - the local council should have been in contact already. If it hasn’t, and you’re going to be made homeless, you should tell the housing department as it has a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation. You can find the details of your local council on mygov.scot and get more help if you’re facing homelessness
  • make a list of all the agencies you have to tell about your move - for example, gas, electricity and phone services which could keep sending you bills, the council tax department at the local council and the Post Office redirection service
  • contact the sheriff officers to ask about the date of eviction - if you haven't already been told when you have to leave.

You can get advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau

Once your lender has sold your property 

Once your lender has sold your property, they will:

  • take what they’re owed from the proceeds of the sale
  • deduct any legal and estate agents' fees
  • repay any other lenders if the property has been used as security for a loan
  • give you anything left over.

If there’s a mortgage shortfall 

If the money from selling the property isn’t enough to repay what you owe, you’ll have to pay the difference. This is called a shortfall. Your lender will send you a bill for the shortfall. Your lender might go to court to force you to pay this amount.

If you don't pay off the mortgage shortfall and you buy another property, the lender of your first property might apply to court for powers to force you to pay back the shortfall. This could include making you bankrupt.

Get more information on mortgage shortfalls on the National Debtline website.

Taking out another mortgage after being evicted for mortgage arrears

If you’ve been evicted for mortgage arrears, you might have problems taking out another mortgage. This is because details of any payments you’ve missed are held on file by credit reference agencies, such as Experian or Equifax. 

Mortgage lenders will contact these agencies to find out if you have a good credit rating.

Your past credit history might not stop you taking out a mortgage, but if you still owe money on a mortgage and try to take out another one, you might have difficulty getting a loan.

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