If you have received a summons to attend court it is very important that you go. Going to court is nothing to be afraid of and it's a chance for you to tell the court what you are doing about your mortgage arrears.

Help is available from the court desk service on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9.45am to 12.30pm.

If you don't attend

The court is likely to grant possession of your home to your mortgage lender, meaning that you will have to leave your home.

What the judge will want to know

The judge will want to know your views about your mortgage so you need to be prepared to tell them - so ensure your facts are correct. Take proof of your income / benefits and outgoings and work out beforehand what you can afford to pay back.

What you need to do

You need to show the court that you can meet your mortgage payments and make a realistic offer towards paying back the arrears. Don't overstretch yourself or make promises you can't keep.

What is the 'Support for Mortgage Interest Payments' scheme?

Some homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage payments and who are in receipt of certain income related benefits can apply for help by making a claim for Support for Mortgage Interest. If you qualify for assistance payments will be paid directly to your mortgage lender.

For further information see: GOV.UK-SMI

What is the 'Lender Pre-action Protocol for Mortgage Possession' scheme?

The Mortgage Pre-action Protocol requires mortgage lenders to take reasonable steps with their borrowers to prevent repossession if they are struggling to meet their mortgage payments and have fallen into arrears.

Taking action against a homeowner to court for mortgage arrears should be a last resort. Lenders must explore all available hardship options to help the borrower pay off their arrears and avoid further problems in the future.

For further information please visit Shelter.