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New video resource for people facing repossession

Updated: August 22 2014
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David Lavery, David Ford & Janet Hunter
David Lavery, David Ford & Janet Hunter
As the latest Northern Ireland Court figures for repossession are published, the Housing Rights Service has launched a new video aimed at encouraging people threatened with repossession to attend their court hearing.
The short video was funded by the Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunal Service and emphasises the importance of attending court and provides useful advice and information to assist people through every step of the process.
Janet Hunter, Housing Rights Service Director said “In the last three months the number of homeowners contacting us for help because they are threatened with repossession has doubled. We know first hand that most people do not attend their court hearings. This video aims to address people’s fears and to let them know that attending court is vital and can greatly improve their chances of keeping their home.”
Welcoming the video’s launch the Minster of Justice David Ford MLA commented: “This short film is vital viewing for those who have not been to court before. It explains the procedures very clearly and advises that a range of options may be open to homeowners.  The central message is that it is never too late to get help and that being present at each stage of the process can ensure that home repossession remains a measure of last resort.”
This sentiment was echoed by the Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland MLA: "In these difficult economic times it is important that householders can access as much information as possible to help them stay in their homes if their personal circumstances change. This informative video clearly explains what can happen at a mortgage repossession hearing, and also tells householders that having to attend a hearing does not always lead to actual repossession. I welcome this initiative from the Housing Rights Service and the Courts Service, which will help to prepare and better inform householders”
Housing Rights Service provides free independent advice and representation to people experiencing housing problems including a specialist service dealing with mortgage arrears.
Commenting on this Nelson McCausland MLA added “My Department already works closely with Housing Rights Service and has recently provided funding for their Mortgage Debt Advice Service. The key message for householders is always to seek early advice and do not ignore the problem."
Ms Hunter commented: “We would urge anyone facing repossession to view the video on our website, seek advice and above all attend their court hearing."