Charging Order / Order For Sale
If a creditor has been successful in obtaining a Charging Order (final) against your property they may in some circumstances (eg if any conditions or terms attached to the order have not been met) make an application to court for an Order for Sale.
Basically an Order for Sale is a court order to sell a property that is subject to a Charging Order so the debt can be paid out of the proceeds of the sale. Any such application to sell a property subject to a Charging Order is both serious and can be legally complex with immediate specialist advice here a must.
If a creditor makes an application to court for an order for sale it will require a hearing and ultimately it will be up to the court (District Judge) to decide whether to make an order for sale not the creditor.
If you receive an N244A Notice of Hearing of Application (an order for sale) and N208 claim form (CPR Part 8) it should be accompanied by an N210 Acknowledgement of Service form and notes for the defendant (Part 8 claim form N208C).
You will need to check through the above forms very carefully and should complete and return the N210 Acknowledgement of Service form not more than 14 days after the service of the N208 claim form, together with any written evidence, indicating that you intend to oppose the order for sale and your reasons / proposals for doing so.
We would advise that it is vital that you immediately obtain specialist advice / representation and that you must attend the court hearing allowing yourself sufficient time.
At the hearing the court (District Judge) should look at the following points / proposals when deciding if the order for sale should go ahead, be adjourned, or suspended.
If you make an installment / payment offer to the court, the District Judge will consider the offer and may decide to suspend the order for sale on the terms offered. If the District Judge does suspend the order for sale this basically means that as long as agreed payments / installments are maintained the order for sale will remain suspended and the house cannot be sold.
If you do make an offer of payment at this stage and ask the court not to order a sale you should provide a full financial statement of your circumstances. You can ask the court to adjourn the order for sale proceedings, or to suspend the order.
If an order for sale is made and not adjourned or suspended you will normally be given 28 days to pay the debt or leave your property. If you do not pay the debt or leave the property the creditor can apply for a warrant of possession / eviction which will give the court bailiffs the power to evict you and change the locks. An order for sale can be adjourned or suspended on terms-for example on payment via installments.
If you are faced with eviction and no hope of stopping or suspending a warrant you will need to look for alternative accommodation as soon as possible. Many people believe that their Local Authority (council) will re-house them when facing eviction. This is not true in all cases due to the intentionally homeless rule or if you are not classed as a priority need.
If you are facing the possibility of possession / eviction or homelessness for any reason contact your Local Authority (council) as soon as possible and ask what they can do for you with regard to re-housing.
You have rights with regard to a homeless interview and there is a homeless code of guidelines your Local Authority (council) should follow with regards to re-housing and the intentionally homeless rules etc. Make sure you know your rights and if in doubt or you are not happy about any decisions etc seek independent advice as you may be able to challenge them.
If your home is at risk and you have any doubts or not sure about anything seek immediate independent specialist advice from a free recognised agency / solicitor (examples below)