Here in Ascent, we have been studying the FCA’s latest guidance, issued last night and have issued separate views about that, but we also attended a Courts Service event this morning about how to manage possession cases after the expiration of the stay. Here are the key points:
- The MPAP checklist and Reactivation Notice must include as much information as possible of customers’ circumstances impacted by Covid – if they are furloughed, on payment holidays, on additional benefits, vulnerable, self-shielding etc. If a customer has not engaged that must be specified too;
- Upon receipt of the Reactivation Notice, the Judge will review the request and if additional information is required an Order will be made – prior to the listing of the R hearing. So until the Judge is satisfied with the contents of the Reactivation Notice, an R hearing will not be listed.
- In some R notices, no time slot is allocated for the R hearing, meaning it is expected that Claimants/Defendants will be available all day for calls between parties and from the Judge. The courts service will look into this process further
- More guidance has been made available for all parties on the Government’s website on the new process and particularly for customers regarding housing options. This can be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/browse/housing-local-services/repossessions-evictions
- No further stay on possession claims is intended by the Courts as a result of the 2nd lockdown (though obviously this needs to be read alongside the latest FCA guidance, particularly in relation to enforcement of possession orders)
- No eviction appointments will take place until end of Jan 2021, although if a warrant is filed the court will issue this, but no notice will be sent to either party until the end of January 2021 in England. The position in Wales is under review with the Government due to differing dates of lockdown.
For more information, please contact me, Mark Higgins, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07795504476.