A possession of attrition

As the mandatory stay on possession proceedings starts to disappear beyond the horizon, we examine the knock-on effect that it has had to mortgage possessions.

After 2019, mortgage possession claims decreased by 53% to 735 between January and March 2021. Between January and March 2022 they more than tripled to 2,890. So, what impact has this had on the Courts? In short, you’re likely to see your favourite author publish their latest novel sooner than get the property back after issuing the claim.

Looking at the January to March 2022 government statistics, the average wait between issue and possession order is a slow 15.6 weeks. The shocking part is waiting for the repossession, which currently takes an average, and eye watering, 110.6 weeks according to the latest statistics.

Of course, these figures are somewhat skewed by the increasing number of historic claims coming to the warrant and possession stages after recent breaches of long suspended orders, but the crucial concern is that if this scenario progresses unchecked, then lenders will be significantly prejudiced.

There is a controversial pilot in which some Courts are implementing small claims paper determinations in an attempt to relieve some of the bottleneck. It will be interesting to see if the Courts operating with this pilot will be using their free resources to deal with the backlog of possession claims.

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